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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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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Remotely transferring images from the Pi

By Chris Lucani -

Instead of transferring captured images from the Pi using a USB stick it’s far more efficient to remotely transfer them over a network connection. First, make sure your Pi and the computer you want to transfer the files to (the local computer) are connected to the same network. Most mobile phones have a ‘Mobile Hotspot’…

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Integrating image capture and processing with 3rd party processes (or… how to build your own Caviconsole GUI!)

By Chris Lucani -

The latest version of CaviCapture – the command line python script that orchestrates image capture and light control on the raspberry pi – is significantly different from V1, and not only includes a new script for automatically processing the images ( (for more info see but also simplifies configuration and is geared for integrating into other systems/processes,…

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An increase in xylem embolism resistance of grapevine leaves during the growing season is coordinated with stomatal regulation, turgor loss point and intervessel pit membranes

Although xylem embolism resistance is traditionally considered as static, we hypothesized that in grapevine (Vitis vinifera) leaf xylem becomes more embolism-resistant over the growing season. We evaluated xylem architecture, turgor loss point (ΨTLP) and water potentials leading to 25% of maximal stomatal conductance (gs25) or 50% embolism in the leaf xylem (P50) in three irrigation…

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Eucryphia lucida leaf 1

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