Notes: The Determination of Percentages of Living Tissue in Woody Fine Root Samples Using Triphenyltetrazolium Chloride

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Knievel (1973) developed a method for evaluating the ratio of live root material to dead based on the relationship between that ratio and triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) reduction per gram of root tissue. The method allows the processing of quantities of roots in bulk but has only been tested on white, nonwoody roots. A procedure very similar to Knievel's was tested on woody roots obtained from a mature white oak (Quercus alba L.) stand. Extractants from live and from dead roots both produced stains whose spectrophotometric absorbance at 480 nm correlated highly with the dry weight of tissue; slopes were distinctly different, however, with the live tissue producing a darker, redder extract. By solving regression equations for live and dead tissue simultaneously, it was possible to compute the ratio of live to dead tissue. Forest Sci. 30:965-970.

Keywords: Quercus alba; TTC; fine roots; root mortality; root turnover

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Professor, School of Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife, 1-31 Agriculture Building, University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo. 65211

Publication date: December 1, 1984

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