Summer in the lab: foliar uptake in Colocasia esculenta

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This summer, Cynthiacynthia-gerlein-phd-student-2/” target=”blank”>Cynthia Gerlein</a> and her intern Craig Sinkle spent the summer in the lab in Princeton to conduct an experiment looking at foliar water uptake. After a few weeks spent growing _Colocasia esculenta, a tropical species, they subjected half of the plants to a drought treatment, while the other half received isotopically enriched water sprayed on the surface of the leaves every two days. The treatment experiment lasted 4 weeks during which they collected leaves from both treatments. They used the Picarro Induction Module and spatial interpolation techniques to obtain high resolution maps of the spatial distribution of the isotopes within the leaves. This experiment, coupled with water potential experiments and a rigorous validation of the induction module data against IRMS data, will be the basis for Cynthia’s effort to include foliar uptake into a leaf water balance model.