Root length and surface area can be controlling variables for water and nutrient uptake. As such, it is important to be able to quantify them. WinRhizo, a product of Regent Instruments, inc. is an image analysis software package designed to allow this type of analysis. WinRhizo allows the acquisition of images of washed roots, and the measurement of root length, root diameter, and root surface area. Root length distribution by diameter classes and root topology are also quantified. We regularly use WinRhizo to measure root length in plants grown in greenhouse experiments, in solution culture, in growth pouches, and soil cores taken from field experiments.

This is intended as a brief overview of the use of WinRhizo, more detailed and specific information is located at:, or in the manuals included with WinRhizo.

Acquiring Washed Roots
Preparing Roots for Scanning
Scanning Roots
The Right Threshold Value is Important
Analyzing Scanned Images
I Don't Have Access to WinRhizo
Other Uses for WinRhizo