Root water uptake by ricinus communis (castor bean) in fine sand was investigated using MRI with multiecho sampling. Before starting the experiments the plants germinated and grew for 3 weeks in a cylindrical container with a diameter of 9 cm. Immediately before the MRI experiments started, the containers were water-saturated and sealed, so water content changes were only caused by root water uptake. In continuation of a preceding work, where we applied SPRITE we tested a multi-echo multi-slice sequence (MSME). In this approach, the water content was imaged by setting TE = 6.76 ms and nE = 128 with an isotropic resolution of 3.1mm. We calculated the water content maps by biexponential fitting of the multi-slice echo train data and normalisation on reference cuvettes filled with glass beads and 1 mM NiCl2 solution. The water content determination was validated by comparing to mean gravimetric water content measurements. By coregistration with the root architecture, visualised by a 3D fast spin echo sequence (RARE), we conclude that the largest water content changes occurred in the neighbourhood of the roots and in the upper layers of the soil.
Pohlmeier, A., Vergeldt, F., Gerkema, E., van As, H., van Dusschoten, D., & Vereecken, H. (2010). MRI in soils: determination of water concent changes due to root water uptake by means of a multi-slice-multi-echo sequence (MSME). The Open Magnetic Resonance Journal, 3, 69-74. https://doi.org/10.2174/1874769801003010069