(part of the PARN project, Lionel)


The tips of the plant roots are highly sensitive areas, capable of detecting and interpreting a large range a environmental parameters such as water availability, gravity, nutrients concentration and mechanical forces. Those parameters determine the direction of the root's growth.

Here, we decided to investigate the ability of a root to 'search for its way'. We designed a simple pattern of tiny channels (~ 1 mm² of section) to let a plant's root grow inside. At every branching, the root tip will have to make a choice, guided by its cellular sensory mechanims.

Materials & methods

The idea is to carve 1mm deep grooves in a transparent layer. By adding another layer on it, the grooves becomes channels.

A first, simple pattern for the channels (.xls drawing)

The pattern was grooved in a plexiglas plate by lasercut

Glass pipes connect the circuit with water stocks

A seed is inserted on the 'input' side of the circuit

First scan of the – empty – circuit

30 sept – 11:15

related: PARN Project: Human-plant communication - research diary

  • plant_roots_experiment.txt
  • Last modified: 2011-09-30 09:16
  • by lbilliet