Data_Sheet_1_A Mobile NMR Sensor and Relaxometric Method to Non-destructively Monitor Water and Dry Matter Content in Plants.docx (746.96 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_A Mobile NMR Sensor and Relaxometric Method to Non-destructively Monitor Water and Dry Matter Content in Plants.docx

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posted on 05.02.2021, 04:47 by Carel W. Windt, Moritz Nabel, Johannes Kochs, Siegfried Jahnke, Ulrich Schurr

Water content (WC) and dry matter content (DMC) are some of the most basic parameters to describe plant growth and yield, but are exceptionally difficult to measure non-invasively. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) relaxometry may fill this methodological gap. It allows non-invasive detection of protons in liquids and solids, and on the basis of these measures, can be used to quantify liquid and dry matter contents of seeds and plants. Unfortunately, most existing NMR relaxometers are large, unwieldy and not suitable to measure intact plants or to be used under field conditions. In addition, currently the appropriate NMR relaxometric methods are poorly suited for non-expert use. We here present a novel approach to overcome these drawbacks. We demonstrate that a basic NMR relaxometer with the capability to accept intact plants, in combination with straightforward NMR and data processing methods, can be used as an NMR plant sensor to continuously, quantitatively and non-invasively monitor changes in WC and DMC. This can be done in vivo, in situ, and with high temporal resolution. The method is validated by showing that measured liquid and solid proton densities accurately reflect WC and DMC of reference samples. The NMR plant sensor is demonstrated in an experimental context by monitoring WC of rice leaves under osmotic stress, and by measuring the dynamics of water and dry matter accumulation during seed filling in a developing wheat ear. It is further demonstrated how the method can be used to estimate leaf water potential on the basis of changes in leaf water content.

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