Aufrecht, JA et al., 2022. Lab on A Chip

Hotspots of root exuded amino acids are created within a rhizosphere-on-a-chip

Jayde Aufrecht, Muneeba Khalid, Courtney L. Walton, Kylee Tate, John F. Cahill, and Scott T. Retterer
28-Jan-2022, Lab on A Chip;


The rhizosphere is a challenging ecosystem to study from a systems biology perspective due to its diverse chemical, physical, and biological characteristics. In the past decade, microfluidic platforms (e.g. plant-on-a-chip) have created an alternative way to study whole rhizosphere organisms, like plants and microorganisms, under reduced-complexity conditions. However, in reducing the complexity of the environment, it is possible to inadvertently alter organism phenotype, which biases laboratory data compared to in situ experiments. To build back some of the complexity of the rhizosphere in a fully defined, parameterized approach we have developed a rhizosphere-on-a-chip platform that mimics the physical structure of soil. We demonstrate, through computational simulation, how this synthetic soil structure can influence the emergence of molecular “hotspots” and “hotmoments” that arise naturally from the plant’s exudation of labile carbon compounds. We establish the amenability of the rhizosphere-on-a-chip for long-term culture of Brachypodium distachyon, and experimentally validate the presence of exudate hotspots within the rhizosphere-on-a-chip pore spaces using liquid microjunction surface sampling probe mass spectrometry


J. Aufrecht, M. Khalid, C. L. Walton, K. Tate, J. F. Cahill and S. T. Retterer. 2022. Hotspots of root-exuded amino acids are created within a rhizosphere-on-a-chip. Lab Chip DOI: 10.1039/d1lc00705j

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