Fast X-Ray fluorescence microtomography of hydrated biological samples

Lombi, Enzo, de Jonge, Martin D., Donner, Erica, Kopittke, Peter M., Howard, Daryl L., Kirkham, Robin, Ryan, Chris G. and Paterson, David (2011) Fast X-Ray fluorescence microtomography of hydrated biological samples. PloS One, 6 6: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020626

Author Lombi, Enzo
de Jonge, Martin D.
Donner, Erica
Kopittke, Peter M.
Howard, Daryl L.
Kirkham, Robin
Ryan, Chris G.
Paterson, David
Title Fast X-Ray fluorescence microtomography of hydrated biological samples
Journal name PloS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2011-06-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0020626
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 6
Issue 6
Total pages 5
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract Metals and metalloids play a key role in plant and other biological systems as some of them are essential to living organisms and all can be toxic at high concentrations. It is therefore important to understand how they are accumulated, complexed and transported within plants. In situ imaging of metal distribution at physiological relevant concentrations in highly hydrated biological systems is technically challenging. In the case of roots, this is mainly due to the possibility of artifacts arising during sample preparation such as cross sectioning. Synchrotron x-ray fluorescence microtomography has been used to obtain virtual cross sections of elemental distributions. However, traditionally this technique requires long data acquisition times. This has prohibited its application to highly hydrated biological samples which suffer both radiation damage and dehydration during extended analysis. However, recent advances in fast detectors coupled with powerful data acquisition approaches and suitable sample preparation methods can circumvent this problem. We demonstrate the heightened potential of this technique by imaging the distribution of nickel and zinc in hydrated plant roots. Although 3D tomography was still impeded by radiation damage, we successfully collected 2D tomograms of hydrated plant roots exposed to environmentally relevant metal concentrations for short periods of time. To our knowledge, this is the first published example of the possibilities offered by a new generation of fast fluorescence detectors to investigate metal and metalloid distribution in radiation-sensitive, biological samples.
Keyword Toxicity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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