Phytostrips - a novel seedling growth deviceProduct information
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Strips of 8 rectangular wells, polypropylene, open bottom, optically clear sides
The Phytostrip, a novel seedling growth device has been developed together with the University of Lancaster for the specific application of plant phenotyping.
It features an 8 well strip with open bottomed wells and flattened polished sides for easy visualization of the well content. The distance between the wells is the same as 96 well PCR plates and the outer dimensions are compatible with the use of SBS footprint microplates and reservoirs for support or incubation.
Each well can be used for the germination of seeds for small seeded plant species like Arabidopsis thaliana. The Phytostrips can be filled with a growth medium that enables chemical treatments to be combined with capturing images of developing roots and shoots. Originally developed for use with Arabidopsis thaliana, however, other small seeded plants may also be compatible.
The uniqueness of the system is that it allows detailed analysis of root architecture in the context of the application of large numbers of chemical treatments.
Strip Length: 83.80 ± 0.1 mm
Well Depth: 22.00 ± 0.25 mm
Pitch (distance between wells): 9.00 mm
- Ultra clear parallel sides - combined with the use of transparent medium, this allows visualisation of root growth
- Sizing in line with standard SBS lab consumables - compatible with microplates (e.g. 4ti-0116 or 4ti-0117) for support and exposure to chemicals
- Ability to upgrade from manual use to partial or full automation - strips can be used for variable throughput with or without additional equipment
- The study of root growth as a result of chemical treatments is the primary intended application, but quantitative trait analysis or association mapping are other possible uses for Phytostrips
The use of Phytostrips has been mentioned in a recent publication in Plant Methods: "The Microphenotron: a robotic miniaturized plant phenotyping platform with diverse applications in chemical biology"
In the publication the Phytostrips are used as part of a robotic phenotyping platform called the Microphenotron (details see here).
The Phytostrips are sealed on the bottom using an adhesive film (4ti-0500 PCR Seal) and filled with agar or nutrients. Once the agar has solidified, the tape is removed and the strips can be placed on a microplate for support (e.g. 4ti-0116 or 4ti-0117). Each well can be filled with nutrients or individual wells can have chemicals or reagents added as test solutions.
Washed and sterile seeds are seeded on the top of each well to germinate and grow over the course of days.
To monitor strips, they can be moved manually or with a robot to an imaging station which can take pictures from both the top to document shoot growth and from the side to document root development.
The combination of the pictures and analysis with Open Source software allows in depth analysis of the plant phenotype.
Depending on the throughout required, manual operation is perfectly feasible though and even an imaging station is not required if the sought-after root phenotype is sufficiently clear.
Video: The Microphenotron
This video shows the latest stage in the development of an automated platform for high-throughput chemical biology screens with plants.
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