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Title: Nuclear physics detector technology applied to plant biology research

The ability to detect the emissions of radioactive isotopes through radioactive decay (e.g. beta particles, x-rays and gamma-rays) has been used for over 80 years as a tracer method for studying natural phenomena. More recently a positron emitting radioisotope of carbon: {sup 11}C has been utilized as a {sup 11}CO{sub 2} tracer for plant ecophysiology research. Because of its ease of incorporation into the plant via photosynthesis, the {sup 11}CO{sub 2} radiotracer is a powerful tool for use in plant biology research. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has been used to study carbon transport in live plants using {sup 11}CO{sub 2}. Presently there are several groups developing and using new PET instrumentation for plant based studies. Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) in collaboration with the Duke University Phytotron and the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL) is involved in PET detector development for plant imaging utilizing technologies developed for nuclear physics research. The latest developments of the use of a LYSO scintillator based PET detector system for {sup 11}CO{sub 2} tracer studies in plants will be briefly outlined.
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  1. JLAB
  2. DUKE
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
JLAB-PHY-12-1418; DOE/OR/23177-2627
DE-FG02-97ER41033, NSF Grant IBN-9985877, NSF Grant DBI-0649924
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nucl.Instr.Meth.A; Journal Volume: 718; Conference: 12th Pisa Meeting on Advanced Detectors, La Biodola, Isola d'Elba, Italy, May 20 - 26, 2012
Research Org:
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, VA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE SC Office of Nuclear Physics (SC-26)
Country of Publication:
United States
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES Particle physics detectors; Scintillators; Positron emission tomography; Plant biology