Mobile Plant Analysis Lab @ pifCamp, Slovenia

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This is part of the ongoing work during pifCamp on my Lab-in-the-Wild

DIY sap press

just use a garlic press :-)

What the heck is a "petiole"?

"In botany, the petiole is the stalk that attaches the leaf blade to the stem. The petiole is the transition between the stem and the leaf blade."

Most Common Methdos

NIR Spectroscopy

Near Infrared Photography

Infra tests newLens noIR-6.jpg

as usual the people from publiclab have already done a great job!

Infragram IMG 0511-split.png

Flame test

A great use of our spectroscopes!

Atomic Absorbtion Spectroscopy

Quick Nitrate-N Tests

just published by pearce et al

but what about these enzymes? are they open source?

the classic method:

Measure Nitrate by reducing it to nitrite via Zinc in "alkalischem milieu".

i have the nitrite test...

Checking Trace Nitrate in Water and Soil Using an Amateur Scientist's Measurement Guide

Procedures and apparatus (photometer) for measuring concentrations of nitrates in water and soil using common equipment and materials; includes data and analysis.

Download here: File:amateurScience_n.pdf

Amateur photometer.png

Chlorophyl content and meters

Simple Cholorophyl extraction methods:


Hmmm somehow these different spectra found on the internet are a bit confusing. according to the standard chlorophyll is measured at 645 and 663 nm to quantify the chlorophyll a and b composition

Chlorophyll ab spectra-en.svg.png

Hmmmm, checking the MultispeQ again

Protein Content Colorimetric Assays

This link helped me a lot:

There are quite a lot out there. The Biuret test, testing peptide bonds with some copper-ions, and it's modifications the BCA and Lowry tests. most suitable for our first experiments seems to be the Bradford assay with it's color change from brown to blue.


  • Bradford Reagent also known as Coomassie G-250 dye. in methanol
  • still need a standard sample. but i got some BSA somewhere....
  • Orange LEDs
  • turbidity kits

Literature and Links

Handbook of Methods for Plant Analysis

Plant analyses are usually carried out on prepared samples in a laboratory under controlled conditions. Testing of forage samples may be conducted with near infrared spectrometry (NIR) in mobile laboratories. Plant tissue tests or quick tests can be conducted in the field on living plant tissue, plant sap, or fluid.

Not so sure about that...

Download here: File:Kalra_-_Handbook_of_Reference_Methods_for_Plant_Analysis.pdf

Near-Infrared Spectroscopy in Food Analysis - Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Download here: File:NIR_food_analysis.pdf

Soil And Plant Analysis - Use A Lab Or Do It Yourself

SCiO: Explore More! A Pocket Molecular Sensor For All!