Biologists have developed a new transparent soil to be able to study roots and root bacteria without disrupting their environment. The new soil is a composite of a material called nafion. Although it is not identical to real soil, the physical and chemical properties are extremely similar.
Plant biologist Laurent Laplaze stated that:
“This is a completely new way to look at roots in a more realistic setup than usually used. It is a major technical breakthrough that opens new avenues for plant physiology, plant breeding and the study of plant-microbe interactions.”
Scientists are confident this new creation will lead to improved crops and the identification of new ways of preventing outbreaks of food poisoning.