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Fields for Elysium
Fields for Elysium

Zeiss 710 Multiphoton Microscope

Shaojun Li

DK Lee Laboratory

Funded by DOE

As researchers search for promising sources of sustainable energy, attention has turned to an unassuming and ubiquitous member of the plant family: grass. Now, careful work is cataloging the qualities and strengths of different types of grass to identify the most desirable traits for a future biofuel crop. 

The silhouettes in this image were derived from the cross-section of a single leaf, allowing plant scientists to analyze its internal structures and compare different types of energy crops. These shapes have been combined with views from the sky and the earth, which are the plant’s sources of nutrients as it grows a scaffold that may in turn help support our society.