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Image Analysis of Plant Structure

Donald J Casadonte dcasadon at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu
Wed May 27 09:29:08 EST 1992

>What sort of measurements are you making Donald?
>We are using an iterative segmentation algorithm to produce a binary
>image of cell walls in transverse sections of maize internodes.  Then,
>we skeletonise the image and measure the length of the skeleton using a
>1,sqrt(2) distance metric and a nearest-neighbour algorithm.  Finally,
>we count the number of nodes in the skeleton and calculate the mean
>cell wall thickness using a hexagonal model of cell wall distribution.
>I'd be iterested to hear from other botanists doing image analysis.

      As far as I can tell from your description, Dr. Travis, it seems we are
doings some of
the same things with the system we have here (a Tracor 8502 Image Analysis
System (Tracor is now known as Noran, I believe)).  I am looking at the
distribution of cell cross-sectional lengths instead of cell wall thickness
(although, that would not be such a bad idea...).  For anyone who wants to see
a rather pretty, but meaningless, use of image analysis Science News (Dec., 14,
1992) published a palleted (i.e., colorized) version of the optical density
transmission through a clarinet reed which I did last year.  This type of
colorization can be used to show the scraping patterns of musicians who "work
on" their reeds (such as oboe and bassoon players).
     I am currently doing something very exciting from a visualization
standpoint-I am sectioning a clarinet reed on a confocal microscope (which uses
a laser light source) and then dumping the information to a Silicon Graphics
program which will reconstruct the reed interior three-dimensionally.
     That these types of techiniques are gaining momentum in biology might be
reflected in the fact that the medical school at Ohio State has just concluded
a special seminar showing off its imaging equipment.
     Hope this is of some use in showing a few of the many possibilities of
image analysis in plant science.

   Donald Casadonte

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