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Image Analysis of Plant Structure

Tony Travis ajt at swan.doc.ic.ac.uk
Tue May 26 17:59:43 EST 1992

dcasadon at magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Donald J Casadonte) writes:
: [...]
:      I am currently doing research on the plant stem used for reeds for
: musical instruments. I am using image analysis extensively to determine 
: average cell wall sizes of "good" vs. "bad" reeds, the deposition of salival 
: components in the cell walls as the reed are played on, and overall shape 
: patterns for the finished reeds.

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 would like to know as well if these techniques of image analysis and
: three-dimensional reconstruction of cell ultrastructure are being used by more
: than a handful of people out there. Problem? Pitfalls? Equipment,software?

Me too :-)

Most microscope manufacturers now sell image analysis systems and I'm
sure many botanists are exploiting these techniques.  I know many
people use their systems as micro-planimeters but image analysis can
extract a lot more information about the 'features' present in an

I'm presently porting the system we use from a Torch QuadX 68020-based
Uniplus Unix SysV 5.2 system running VCS (Vision Dynamics, UK) under
the 'opentop' GUI to a Sun SparcStation 1+ running SunOS Unix and the 
'openwindows' (X11/News) GUI.

We use Prima Graphics VME bus Virtuoso frame grabbers on a Bit3
Sbus/VME adapter for the Suns (The Torch has VME built in), and Sony,
Hitachi or Pulnix CCD cameras.  Digitisation is 768 x 564 x 8-bit
monochrome.  I am using the WOOLZ image analysis system (Rutovitz et
al., MRC HGU, UK) to analyse images on the Suns but I'm new to X ;-)

I'd be interested to hear from other botanists doing image analysis.


    Tony Travis <ajt at uk.ac.sari.rri>  | Dr. A.J.Travis 
                                      | Rowett Research Institute,
                                      | Greenburn Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen,
                                      | AB2 9SB. UK. tel 0224-712751

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