With global food demands growing, we are faced with the challenge of not only maximising crop yield, but also ensuring that the nutritional value of the crops is sufficient to combat deficiencies that ultimately lead to disease; in particular amongst poorer populations that are already malnourished. A key contributing factor to this success is the quality of the soil used to grow these crops.
At Diamond we have been working with a number of organisations to undertake studies into soil quality. Below are examples of this work.
In order to improve plant yields, a team from the University of Sheffield used Diamond and ISIS to conduct X-ray imaging and neutron imaging experiments of plants in different soils. This allowed them to determine how variable aggregate size affects the early root architectural establishment in wheat plants.
Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona used microfocus X-ray flurorescence (µ-XRF) and microfocus X-ray absorption near edge structure (µ-XANES) to measure the Se content of wheat and help combat deficiencies affecting human health.
The levels of Se in soil usually has a direct influence on the concentration of Se present in food and subsequently in the human body, so the team were keen to improve this using a biostimulant to enrich the Se content in soil, without introducing toxicity.
The best thing about working with us is that the Industrial Liaison team is dedicated specifically to Industrial research; we therefore understand your challenges!
Each member of the team is an expert in their particular field so we can offer a wide range of research techniques to match your needs. We can help you choose the most effective approach for your research and support and guide you throughout your experiment; we can even do the work on your behalf.
Our range of services provide different access options (including remote) and we can even train you on a particular technique whilst you conduct the experiment.
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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