Juan was visiting from the University of Western Australia and he kindly held a short workshop for Elisa and Lucas where he demonstrated how to use methylene blue staining to indicate root portions where radial oxygen loss occur. The approach is simple but nonetheless powerful and very visual (see the photo). However, it is all about timing and thus it is always useful to see the procedure demonstrated by an experienced user.
Elisa, Lucas and Juan watching the results of the methylene blue staining.
Juan visited out lab in order to obtain radial oxygen profiles in roots of his model species in the genus of Urochloa. It is too early to say if the attempt was successful or not but Juan is currently analyzing data so we will know in due time. If we can find the necessary funding, Juan is considering to come back for another research visit in order to dive further into the topic.
The methylene blue staining convincingly shows where oxygen is lost. In this case, the roots have a strong barrier to radial oxygen loss - but NOT in the root tips where oxygen diffuses into the solution staining it blue.