The Ultrasound Aeroponic System
The root system is essential to the plant due to its major role in the absorption of water and nutrients from the soil. However, the study of the root system is often limited by its access. In our laboratory, we are using the ultrasound aeroponic system, a plant growth technology, to have a full access to the root system and study root response to various abiotic and biotic stresses.
The ultrasound aeroponic generates a fine cool mist (i.e., 5 μm diameter droplets) of nutritive solution to feed the plants, allowing the even treatment of the root system. By modifying the chemical composition of the mist (e.g., extreme pHs, high salinity and nutrient deprivation such as N, K, P, Fe) or the physical parameters of the plant environment (e.g., extreme temperature, drough stress), the ultrasound aeroponic system offers new possibilities to study root response to abiotic stresses. In addition, its use is compatible with the treatment of the root by biotic agents (e.g. Bradyrhizobium japonicum treatment on soybean roots; Qiao and Libault, 2013).
Another advantage of the plant response to the ultrasound aeroponic systems, is the impressive density of the root hair cells on the root system. Combining the ultrasound aeroponic system with the root hair cell isolation protocol, we are capable of generating as much as 1 gram of root hair cells from 60 two-weeks-old soybean, common bean, sorghum and barrel medic.
Qiao Z and Libault M (2013) Unleashing the potential of the root hair cell as a single plant cell type model in root systems biology. Frontiers in Plant Science. 4:484