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Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) micro-imaging of stems of Linum usitatissimum

  • G. J. McDougall (a1), B. A. Goodman (a1) and J. A. Chudek (a2)

Summary

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) micro-imaging techniques have been employed to study noninvasively the spatial distribution of mobile protons (1H) around the cotyledonary node of flax (Linum usitatissimum) plants of two differing growth morphologies. The gross anatomy of the tissues of the stem can be discerned as a result of differences in their mobile 1H contents. The technique produced excellent images of the complex changes in stem structure that occur at the point of origin of side shoots. Detailed structure within the xylem could be visualized and the presence of fibre bundles deduced as dark areas amongst tissues of higher 1H signal intensity.

As a result of the non-invasive and non-destructive nature of NMR-imaging, the images obtained have been compared to micrographs obtained by conventional histological techniques on the same plant tissue. In general, the two approaches produce comparable results, but the NMR images are influenced by the relaxation properties of the protons as well as their concentration. Paramagnetic species, such as Mn2+ ions, produce enhanced relaxation rates of protons in their vicinity and an apparent increase in proton density at short recycle times. Thus an NMR image can yield both chemical and structural information. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of this technique over conventional histological methods are discussed.

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Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) micro-imaging of stems of Linum usitatissimum

  • G. J. McDougall (a1), B. A. Goodman (a1) and J. A. Chudek (a2)

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