Fluorescent Microspheres in Particle Dispersion Experiment
Fluorescent microspheres produced by Cospheric LLC were used as part of ongoing work to to conduct particle dispersion experiments in plant canopies and study the mechanisms of fungal epidemiology in vineyards.
The University of Utah in collaboration with USDA Labs in Corvallis, OR performed five field particle dispersion campaigns in commercial vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Among the methodologies developed over the five-years experiment was the use of fluorescent microsheres as a fungal spore analog. The microspheres used were inert fluorescing polyethylene micropsheres in four separate colors.
The investigation of the transport physics of fungal spores has led to the development of new equipment and methodologies for use in performing and analyzing particle plume experiments. Although these techniques have been used specifically for spore and microsphere transport experiments, they could be tapped for use in a variety of different studies both in vineyards and in other canopy types. 1
Between the years of 2009 and 2014, five field campaigns were performed by our teamin commercial vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Over the course of those years, many ideas on how to disperse, collect, quantify, and analyze the microspheres used to study plume dispersion in the vineyard were tried and developed.
Among the key methodologies developed as part of this study was the use of inert, fluorescent microspheres in diameters of 10-45 micron manufactured by Cospheric LLC as a fungal spore analog. The microspheres were chosen in four distinct bright colors with a strong fluorescent response to ensure that the particle dispersion can be accurately visualized and quantified. The four distinct colors and excitation wavelengths of microspheres allows the experimental set-points to be color-coded with identified unique excitation and lens filters.
The article attached below outlines the technology developed for quantifying particle dispersion as well as microspheres sampling and meteorological equipment used in the experiments. The authors of the article conclude that “these techniques have enabled for incredibly detailed research into particle plume dynamics in a vineyard.”
- Nathan E. Miller, Rob Stoll, Walter F. Mahaffee, Tara M. Neill, Eric R. Pardyjak, University of Utah, SLC, UT USDA-ARS, Corvallis, OR, Methodologies for Particle Dispersion Experiments in Plant Canopies, NMiller_Poster_Methods