Susan’s work centres on utilising X-ray Micro-Computed Tomography to visualise plants growing in soil and is part of an interdisciplinary project with the School of Computer Science.The project aims to isolate root architecture traits that improve phosphorus use efficiency in crop species. In general, shallower root systems are more successful at acquiring phosphorus. The overarching hypothesis for this work is that agravitropic root systems of model plants Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa will more efficiently extract phosphorus from soil than their wildtype, gravitropic counterparts. Most experiments that pinpoint gene expression and signalling related to phosphorus deficiency employ non-soil media such as agar or sand. This is likely because of the heterogeneity of soil and the difficulty for visualisation in the opaque medium. X-ray Micro-Computed Tomography (CT) will be used to non-destructively image 3D root architecture and microscale soil characteristics over time.
- Kristine Hill, Silvana Porco, , Susan Zappala, Sacha Mooney, & Malcolm J. Bennett2013Root systems biology: integrative modeling across scales, from gene regulatory networks to the rhizosphere.Plant Physiologypp.113.227215
- Stefan Mairhofer, Susan Zappala, Saoirse Tracy, Craig Sturrock, Malcolm John Bennett, Sacha Jon Mooney & Tony Paul Pridmore2013Recovering complete plant root system architectures from soil via X-ray μ-Computed Tomography.Plant Methods 9 (1), 8
- Susan Zappala, Stefan Mairhofer, Saoirse Tracy, Craig J. Sturrock, Malcolm Bennett, Tony Pridmore & Sacha J. Mooney2013Quantifying the effect of soil moisture content on segmenting root system architecture in X-ray computed tomography imagesPlant and Soil1-11
- Susan Zappala, , Saoirse R Tracy, Stefan Mairhofer, Craig J Sturrock, Tony Pridmore, Malcolm Bennett & Sacha J Mooney2013Effects of X-Ray Dose On Rhizosphere Studies Using X-Ray Computed Tomography.PloS one 8 (6), e67250
- Stefan Mairhofer, Susan Zappala, Saoirse R. Tracy, Craig Sturrock, Malcolm Bennett, Sacha J. Mooney & Tony Pridmore2012RooTrak: automated recovery of three-dimensional plant root architecture in soil from x-ray microcomputed tomography images using visual tracking.Plant Physiology 158 (2), 561-569
- Mikaël Lucas, Ranjan Swarup, , Kamal Swarup, , , Benjamin Peret, Susan Zappala, Stefan Mairhofer, , , , , , Michael J. Holdsworth, , Tony Pridmore, Sacha Mooney & Malcolm J. Bennett2011Short-Root regulates primary, lateral, and adventitious root development in Arabidopsis.Plant Physiology 155 (1), 384-398