Technical Requirements and Optimized Cultivation Systems to Analyze Plant Growth Dynamics

Growth analysis of a plant, organ or tissue region requires knowledge of the size of the investigated system at least at two consecutive points in time. This knowledge can be gained by destructive or non-destructive methods such as determination of fresh or dry weight. Destructive methods do not allow studying growth processes with high resolution. Because of the high variability between different individuals, size differences that are reached within minutes or hours can not be determined with statistical significance by comparing two populations on the basis of destructive measurements. The same argument applies to the destructive analysis of growth differences of spatially neighboring tissue regions. Hence, high spatial or temporal resolution of growth analysis can only be achieved by utilizing non-invasive methods that determine surface or volume of the investigated organ. Often, special cultivation systems have to be established to ensure an exact quantification of plant organ growth and to control environmental parameters with appropriate accuracy.

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