Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy was used to monitor the tissue hydration dynamics of Arabidopsis thaliana under water deficit conditions. Terahertz spectroscopy is found to be an excellent non-destructive in-vivo probe of hydration. The plant leaves showed very slow dehydration over the first 16 to 18 hours while a very rapid loss of moisture was seen over the following 3 hours, this transient behavior might be caused by a defensive mechanism of the organism that activates when the soil moisture decreases below certain threshold.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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