Crop Development

Synchrotron-based tools provide unique ways to assess plant phenotypes and support modern crop development.

Ideally located on the University of Saskatchewan campus (a globally recognized center for agricultural science), the CLS has been developing expertise in plant imaging and analysis using synchrotron techniques for many years. Synchrotron imaging tools allow for detailed analysis of physical tissue structures as well as mapping of compounds (like proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates). The resulting data can be used to quantify the performance of new crop varieties and support plant phenotyping. Several methods have been adapted for high-throughput analysis, providing sufficient sampling for large-scale statistical analysis. Talk to us today to find out how our techniques can benefit your crop development research.



Synchrotron-based microstructure analysis and chemical imaging provide unique insights into a variety of agri-products.

Synchrotron-based spectroscopic imaging has many applications in the agriproducts industry. This includes everything from commercial food products to plant-based fibers to animal feeds and biofuels. Imaging techniques provide detailed, high-resolution information on the physical structure and chemical makeup of a variety of agricultural products. These techniques can aid in product development, process development, and QA/QC, providing valuable insight and quantitative measurements that often cannot be obtained through other techniques.

Azargohar, R.; Soleimani, M.; Nosran, S.; Bond, T.; Karunakaran, C.; Dalai, A.K. and Tabil, L.G. (2019). Thermo-physical characterization of torrefied fuel pellet from co-pelletization of canola hulls and meal. Industrial Crops and Products 128, 424-435. 10.1016/j.indcrop.2018.11.042

Azargohar, Ramin; Nanda, Sonil; Kang, Kang; Bond, Toby; Karunakaran, Chithra; Dalai, Ajay K. and Kozinski, Janusz A. (2019). Effects of bio-additives on the physiochemical properties and mechanical behaviour of canola hull fuel pellets. Renewable Energy 132, 296-307. 10.1016/j.renene.2018.08.003


Crop Disease

Highly sensitive synchrotron imaging allows for quantification and analysis of infected plant tissues before they are externally visible. 

In the early stages of infection, many crop diseases can be difficult to diagnose, much less quantify and assess. Synchrotron-based X-ray imaging allows us to image tissues inside the plant and it is often sensitive enough to differentiate between infected and healthy tissue. In the quest to develop treatments and infection-resistant genotypes for crops of the future, the CLS can provide novel ways to assess the performance of new approaches, which can save significant time and effort in the development process.

Brar, Gurcharn S.; Karunakaran, Chithra; Bond, Toby; Stobbs, Jarvis; Liu, Na; Hucl, Pierre J. and Kutcher, Hadley R. (2018). Showcasing the application of synchrotron-based x-ray computed tomography in host-pathogen interactions: The role of wheat rachilla and rachis nodes in type-II resistance to Fusarium graminearum. Plant, Cell & Environment 42(2), 509-526. 10.1111/pce.13431


Case Studies