Live imaging of root hairs

Silvia M. Velasquez, Jose R. Dinneny, José M. Estevez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Root hairs are single cells specialized in the absorption of water and nutrients. Growing root hairs requires intensive cell wall changes to accommodate cell expansion at the apical end by a process known as tip growth. The cell wall of plants is a very rigid structure comprised largely of polysaccharides and hydroxyproline-rich O-glycoproteins. The importance of root hairs stems from their capacity to expand the surface of interaction between the root and the environment, in search for the necessary nutrients and water to allow plant growth. Therefore, it becomes crucial to deepen our knowledge of them, particularly in the light of the applicability in agriculture by allowing the expansion of croplands. Root hair growth is an extremely fast process, reaching growth rates of up to 1 μm/min and it also is a dynamic process; there can be situations in which the final length might not be affected but the growth rate is. Consequently, in this chapter we focus on a method for studying growth dynamics and rates during a time course. This method is versatile allowing for it to be used in other plant organs such as lateral root, hypocotyl, etc., and also in various conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalMethods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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