Imaging drought stress in plants

Our knowledge of species drought tolerance is significantly limited yet critical in predicting how plants will respond to a rapidly changing climate. New optical techniques for visualising the effect of water stress provide the foundation for a new generation of tools to assess plant drought tolerance.

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OpenSourceOV is an Open Source project that encourages community involvement.

From electronics to optics to beta-testing, a range of expertise is required to develop and improve the resources you'll find on the site. If you'd like to get involved then head on over to contributing for more information.


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How does it work?


Capture images of a leaf or stem over time using a microscope, off-the-shelf document scanner, or 3D-printed clamp.

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Use the OpenSourceOV plugins and guides to extract embolism events from the captured sequence of images.

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Use our detailed guide to analyse the data and present the cumulative effect of increasing drought stress as an optical vulnerability curve.

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Uninterrupted power supply for the RaspberryPi setup using a battery and power converter

Uninterrupted power supply for the RaspberryPi setup using a battery and power converter

By Markus Nolf -

As part of an Australia-wide research project, we frequently take our optical setup to remote field stations where continuous power supply isn’t always guaranteed. To cope with the occasional power outage, we are now powering our RaspberryPis through a 12V battery block using an UBEC switching power converter. The battery itself is trickle-charged from a…

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New hand-lens clamp for stem and leaves nearly ready!

By Chris Lucani -

We’ve been very excited testing a new 3D printed clamp that allows you to fit any (most?) standard hand lens to use as the magnifier. Although the Moment lens used in the standard clamp provides an excellent image, it only provides 10x magnification which we’re finding is just not quite enough for most stems. With…

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Casting light on xylem vulnerability in an herbaceous species reveals a lack of segmentation

Finding thresholds at which loss of plant functionality occurs during drought is critical for predicting future crop productivity and survival. Xylem resistance to embolism has been suggested as a key trait associated with water-stress tolerance. Although a substantial literature exists describing the vulnerability of woody stems to embolism, leaves and roots of herbaceous species remain…

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Eucryphia lucida leaf 1

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