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Spatial mapping of root metabolites

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Plant roots secrete a wide range of compounds that govern the interaction with other organisms in the rhizosphere. In this project, the spatial distribution pattern of root metabolites is investigated to learn about the plant-driven processes in the root-affected soil.

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Conventional exudate sampling usually results in loss of spatial information with regard to different root regions and to metabolic fluxes within the root. In order to study rhizodeposition processes, mass spectrometry imaging is applied to track the temporal and spatial dynamics of metabolite accumulation in situ without the need of labelling or derivatization. Using this method, compounds are localized that respond to environmental cues (pathogen inoculation, soil microbial communities) and might be involved in the plant-soil feedback.

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