Laser Ablation Tomography

A high-throughput, high-resolution phenotyping platform combines laser optics and serial imaging with 3-D image reconstruction and quantification to understand plant anatomy.
LAT root phenotyping began in 2012.

LAT root phenotyping began in 2012.

The Laser Ablation Tomography (LAT) system was developed by the Roots lab, including former student Ben Hall who has created a company focusing on this technique (L4IS). See more details about the optics used in first LAT system here.

Anatomical traits are measured from LAT images using a number of image analysis programs, including RootScan, a program developed by our lab.



Real-time laser ablation of a maize root segment


Images of root cross section are captured on remote-controlled camera while root sample is ablated by laser pulse


Common bean root 3D reconstruction with metaxylem vessels highlighted (red). Created by Chris Strock


Maize root 3D reconstruction

3-D reconstructions from a diverse array of LAT projects.

Two imaging modes have been integrated into the LAT system with a generous grant of $7,500 in Edmund Optics supplies.