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Determining if a root is dead

Rod Savidge savidge at unb.ca
Thu Feb 11 16:01:51 EST 1999


Bruce,

You could do carbon dioxide (respiration) studies; however, personally I
would not consider that definitive because of the probable contribution of
xylem-limited bacteria and endophytes.  If the roots were in my hands, I
would hand section them and look at the cambium.  If it looks healthy
(white, not discoloured) and you can see cyclosis, I'd say there's a good
probability the system is still alive and capable of producing new roots.

Rod

At 03:09 PM 11/02/1999 -0500, you wrote:
>Does anyone know of a vital stain that would help me determine if a root
>is dead? I have been asked to give my professional opinion (I am am
>plant morphologist/anatomist) on whether a root mass growing (and
>clogging) a sewer is dead. It was treated with a standard herbicide
>about 6 months ago. Based on it's external appearance the roots appear
>dead, but, as there is a considerable amount of money involved in this
>project, I have been asked to give my professional opinion. Can anyone
>help me? Does anyone know a definitive test for living tissue?
>
>	Thanks.
>
>	Bruce Kirchoff
>	University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA
>	kirchoff at uncg.edu
>
>
>



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