Automated trichome counting in soybean using advanced image-processing techniques.
ABSTRACT: Premise:Trichomes are hair-like appendages extending from the plant epidermis. They serve many important biotic roles, including interference with herbivore movement. Characterizing the number, density, and distribution of trichomes can provide valuable insights on plant response to insect infestation and define the extent of plant defense capability. Automated trichome counting would speed up this research but poses several challenges, primarily because of the variability in coloration and the high occlusion of the trichomes. Methods and Results:We developed a simplified method for image processing for automated and semi-automated trichome counting. We illustrate this process using 30 leaves from 10 genotypes of soybean (Glycine max) differing in trichome abundance. We explored various heuristic image-processing methods including thresholding and graph-based algorithms to facilitate trichome counting. Of the two automated and two semi-automated methods for trichome counting tested and with the help of regression analysis, the semi-automated manually annotated trichome intersection curve method performed best, with an accuracy of close to 90% compared with the manually counted data. Conclusions:We address trichome counting challenges including occlusion by combining image processing with human intervention to propose a semi-automated method for trichome quantification. This provides new opportunities for the rapid and automated identification and quantification of trichomes, which has applications in a wide variety of disciplines.
Project description:Epithelial cells are defined by apical-basal and planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling, the latter of which establishes an orthogonal plane of polarity in the epithelial sheet. PCP signaling is required for normal cell migration, differentiation, stem cell generation and tissue repair, and defects in PCP have been associated with developmental abnormalities, neuropathologies and cancers. While the molecular mechanism of PCP is incompletely understood, the deepest insights have come from Drosophila, where PCP is manifest in hairs and bristles across the adult cuticle and organization of the ommatidia in the eye. Fly wing cells are marked by actin-rich trichome structures produced at the distal edge of each cell in the developing wing epithelium and in a mature wing the trichomes orient collectively in the distal direction. Genetic screens have identified key PCP signaling pathway components that disrupt trichome orientation, which has been measured manually in a tedious and error prone process. Here we describe a set of image processing and pattern-recognition macros that can quantify trichome arrangements in micrographs and mark these directly by color, arrow or colored arrow to indicate trichome location, length and orientation. Nearest neighbor calculations are made to exploit local differences in orientation to better and more reliably detect and highlight local defects in trichome polarity. We demonstrate the use of these tools on trichomes in adult wing preps and on actin-rich developing trichomes in pupal wing epithelia stained with phalloidin. FijiWingsPolarity is freely available and will be of interest to a broad community of fly geneticists studying the effect of gene function on PCP.
Project description:Cassava roots are complex structures comprising several distinct types of root. The number and size of the storage roots are two potential phenotypic traits reflecting crop yield and quality. Counting and measuring the size of cassava storage roots are usually done manually, or semi-automatically by first segmenting cassava root images. However, occlusion of both storage and fibrous roots makes the process both time-consuming and error-prone. While Convolutional Neural Nets have shown performance above the state-of-the-art in many image processing and analysis tasks, there are currently a limited number of Convolutional Neural Net-based methods for counting plant features. This is due to the limited availability of data, annotated by expert plant biologists, which represents all possible measurement outcomes. Existing works in this area either learn a direct image-to-count regressor model by regressing to a count value, or perform a count after segmenting the image. We, however, address the problem using a direct image-to-count prediction model. This is made possible by generating synthetic images, using a conditional Generative Adversarial Network (GAN), to provide training data for missing classes. We automatically form cassava storage root masks for any missing classes using existing ground-truth masks, and input them as a condition to our GAN model to generate synthetic root images. We combine the resulting synthetic images with real images to learn a direct image-to-count prediction model capable of counting the number of storage roots in real cassava images taken from a low cost aeroponic growth system. These models are used to develop a system that counts cassava storage roots in real images. Our system first predicts age group ('young' and 'old' roots; pertinent to our image capture regime) in a given image, and then, based on this prediction, selects an appropriate model to predict the number of storage roots. We achieve 91% accuracy on predicting ages of storage roots, and 86% and 71% overall percentage agreement on counting 'old' and 'young' storage roots respectively. Thus we are able to demonstrate that synthetically generated cassava root images can be used to supplement missing root classes, turning the counting problem into a direct image-to-count prediction task.
Project description:Development requires coordination between cell proliferation and cell growth to pattern the proper size of tissues, organs, and whole organisms. The Drosophila wing has landmark features, such as the location of veins patterned by cell groups and trichome structures produced by individual cells, that are useful to examine the genetic contributions to both tissue and cell size. Wing size and trichome density have been measured manually, which is tedious and error prone, and although image processing and pattern-recognition software can quantify features in micrographs, this approach has not been applied to insect wings. Here we present FijiWings, a set of macros designed to perform semiautomated morphophometric analysis of a wing photomicrograph. FijiWings uses plug-ins installed in the Fiji version of ImageJ to detect and count trichomes and measure wing area either to calculate trichome density of a defined region selected by the user or generate a heat map of overall trichome densities. For high-throughput screens we have developed a macro that directs a trainable segmentation plug-in to detect wing vein locations either to measure trichome density in specific intervein regions or produce a heat map of relative intervein areas. We use wing GAL4 drivers and UAS-regulated transgenes to confirm the ability of these tools to detect changes in overall tissue growth and individual cell size. FijiWings is freely available and will be of interest to a broad community of fly geneticists studying both the effect of gene function on wing patterning and the evolution of wing morphology.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Trichomes are epidermal outgrowths generally associated with protection against herbivores and/or desiccation that are widely distributed from ferns to angiosperms. Patterns of topological variation and morphological evolution of trichomes are still scarce in the literature, preventing valid comparisons across taxa. This study integrates detailed morphoanatomical data and the evolutionary history of the tribe Bignonieae (Bignoniaceae) in order to gain a better understanding of current diversity and evolution of trichome types. METHODS:Two sampling schemes were used to characterize trichome types: (1) macromorphological characterization of all 105 species currently included in Bignonieae; and (2) micromorphological characterization of 16 selected species. Individual trichome morphotypes were coded as binary in each vegetative plant part, and trichome density and size were coded as multistate. Ancestral character state reconstructions were conducted using maximum likelihood (ML) assumptions. KEY RESULTS:Two main functional trichome categories were found: non-glandular and glandular. In glandular trichomes, three morphotypes were recognized: peltate (Pg), stipitate (Sg) and patelliform/cupular (P/Cg) trichomes. Non-glandular trichomes were uniseriate, uni- or multicellular and simple or branched. Pg and P/Cg trichomes were multicellular and non-vascularized with three clearly distinct cell layers. Sg trichomes were multicellular, uniseriate and long-stalked. ML ancestral character state reconstructions suggested that the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of Bignonieae probably had non-glandular, Pg and P/Cg trichomes, with each trichome type presenting alternative histories of appearance on the different plant parts. For example, the MRCA of Bignonieae probably had non-glandular trichomes on the stems, prophylls, petiole, petiolule and leaflet veins while P/Cg trichomes were restricted to leaflet blades. Sg trichomes were not present in the MRCA of Bignonieae independently of the position of these trichomes. These trichomes had at least eight independent origins in tribe. CONCLUSIONS:The patterns of trichome evolution indicate that most morphotypes are probably homologous in Bignonieae and could be treated under the same name based on its morphological similarity and common evolutionary history, in spite of the plethora of names that have been previously designated in the literature. The trichome descriptions presented here will facilitate comparisons across taxa, allowing inferences on the relationsthips between trichome variants and future studies about their functional properties.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Glandular trichomes produce a wide variety of commercially important secondary metabolites in many plant species. The most prominent anti-malarial drug artemisinin, a sesquiterpene lactone, is produced in glandular trichomes of Artemisia annua. However, only limited genomic information is currently available in this non-model plant species. RESULTS:We present a global characterization of A. annua glandular trichome transcriptome using 454 pyrosequencing. Sequencing runs using two normalized cDNA collections from glandular trichomes yielded 406,044 expressed sequence tags (average length = 210 nucleotides), which assembled into 42,678 contigs and 147,699 singletons. Performing a second sequencing run only increased the number of genes identified by approximately 30%, indicating that massively parallel pyrosequencing provides deep coverage of the A. annua trichome transcriptome. By BLAST search against the NCBI non-redundant protein database, putative functions were assigned to over 28,573 unigenes, including previously undescribed enzymes likely involved in sesquiterpene biosynthesis. Comparison with ESTs derived from trichome collections of other plant species revealed expressed genes in common functional categories across different plant species. RT-PCR analysis confirmed the expression of selected unigenes and novel transcripts in A. annua glandular trichomes. CONCLUSION:The presence of contigs corresponding to enzymes for terpenoids and flavonoids biosynthesis suggests important metabolic activity in A. annua glandular trichomes. Our comprehensive survey of genes expressed in glandular trichome will facilitate new gene discovery and shed light on the regulatory mechanism of artemisinin metabolism and trichome function in A. annua.
Project description:Abstract Trichomes are large epidermal cells on the surface of leaves that are thought to deter herbivores, yet the presence of trichomes can also negatively impact plant growth and reproduction. Stomatal guard cells and trichomes have shared developmental origins, and experimental manipulation of trichome formation can lead to changes in stomatal density. The influence of trichome formation upon stomatal development in natural populations of plants is currently unknown. Here, we show that a natural population of Arabidopsis halleri that includes hairy (trichome?bearing) and glabrous (no trichomes) morphs has differences in stomatal density that are associated with this trichome dimorphism. We found that glabrous morphs had significantly greater stomatal density and stomatal index than hairy morphs. One interpretation is that this arises from a trade?off between the proportions of cells that have trichome and guard cell fates during leaf development. The differences in stomatal density between the two morphs might have impacts upon environmental adaptation, in addition to herbivory deterrence caused by trichome development.
Project description:Plant trichomes originate from epidermal cell, forming protective structure from abiotic and biotic stresses. Different from the unicellular trichome in Arabidopsis, tomato trichomes are multicellular structure and can be classified into seven different types based on cell number, shape and the presence of glandular cells. Despite the importance of tomato trichomes in insect resistance, our understanding of the tomato trichome morphogenesis remains elusive. In this study, we quantitatively analyzed morphological traits of trichomes in tomato and further performed live imaging of cytoskeletons in stably transformed lines with actin and microtubule markers. At different developmental stages, two types of cytoskeletons exhibited distinct patterns in different trichome cells, ranging from transverse, spiral to longitudinal. This gradual transition of actin filament angle from basal to top cells could correlate with the spatial expansion mode in different cells. Further genetic screen for aberrant trichome morphology led to the discovery of a number of independent mutations in SCAR/WAVE and ARP2/3 complex, which resulted in actin bundling and distorted trichomes. Disruption of microtubules caused isotropic expansion while abolished actin filaments entirely inhibited axial extension of trichomes, indicating that microtubules and actin filaments may control distinct aspects of trichome cell expansion. Our results shed light on the roles of cytoskeletons in the formation of multicellular structure of tomato trichomes.
Project description:Cotton fibres are unicellular seed trichomes. Our previous study suggested that the cotton R2R3 MYB transcript factor GaMYB2 is a functional homologue of the Arabidopsis trichome regulator GLABRA1 (GL1). Here, the GaMYB2 promoter activity is reported in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), and Arabidopsis plants. A 2062 bp promoter of GaMYB2 was isolated from G. arboreum, and fused to a beta-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene. In cotton, the GaMYB2 promoter exhibited activities in developing fibre cells and trichomes of other aerial organs, including leaves, stems and bracts. In Arabidopsis the promoter was specific to trichomes. Different from Arabidopsis and cotton that have unicellular non-glandular simple trichomes, tobacco plants contain more than one type of trichome, including multicellular simple and glandular secreting trichomes (GSTs). Interestingly, in tobacco plants the GaMYB2 promoter directed GUS expression exclusively in glandular cells of GSTs. A series of 5'-deletions revealed that a 360 bp fragment upstream to the translation initiation codon was sufficient to drive gene expression. A putative cis-element of the T/G-box was located at -233 to -214; a yeast one-hybrid assay showed that Arabidopsis bHLH protein GLABRA3 (GL3), also a trichome regulator, and GhDEL65, a GL3-like cotton protein, had high binding activities to the T/G-box motif. Overexpression of GL3 or GhDEL65 enhanced the GaMYB2 promoter activity in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. A comparison of GaMYB2 promoter specificities in trichomes of different plant species with different types of trichomes provides a tool for further dissection of plant trichome structure and development.
Project description:KEY MESSAGE:Map-based cloning revealed that two novel soybean distorted trichome mutants were due to loss function of GmNAP1 gene, which affected the trichome morphology and pavement cell ploidy by regulating actin filament assembly. Trichomes increase both biotic and abiotic stress resistance in soybean. In this study, Gmdtm1-1 and Gmdtm1-2 mutants with shorter trichomes and bigger epidermal pavement cells were isolated from an ethyl methylsulfonate mutagenized population. Both of them had reduced plant height and smaller seeds. Map-based cloning and bulked segregant analysis identified that a G-A transition at the 3' boundary of the sixth intron of Glyma.20G019300 in the Gmdtm1-1 mutant and another G-A transition mutation at the 5' boundary of the fourteenth intron of Glyma.20G019300 in Gmdtm1-2; these mutations disrupted spliceosome recognition sites creating truncated proteins. Glyma.20G019300 encodes a Glycine max NCK-associated protein 1 homolog (GmNAP1) in soybean. Further analysis revealed that the GmNAP1 involved in actin filament assembling and genetic information processing pathways during trichome and pavement cell development. This study shows that GmNAP1 plays an important role in soybean growth and development and agronomic traits.
Project description:Helianthus annuus, the common sunflower, produces a complex array of secondary compounds that are secreted into glandular trichomes, specialized structures found on leaf surfaces and anther appendages of flowers. The primary components of these trichome secretions are sesquiterpene lactones (STL), a diverse class of compounds produced abundantly by the plant family Compositae and believed to contribute to plant defense against herbivory. We treated wild and cultivated H. annuus accessions with exogenous methyl jasmonate, a plant hormone that mediates plant defense against insect herbivores and certain classes of fungal pathogens. The wild sunflower produced a higher density of glandular trichomes on its leaves than the cultivar. Comparison of the profiles of glandular trichome extracts obtained by liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy (LC-MS) showed that wild and cultivated H. annuus were qualitatively similar in surface chemistry, although differing in the relative size and proportion of various compounds detected. Despite observing consistent transcriptional responses to methyl jasmonate treatment, we detected no significant effect on glandular trichome density or LC-MS profile in cultivated or wild sunflower, with wild sunflower exhibiting a declining trend in overall STL production and foliar glandular trichome density of jasmonate-treated plants. These results suggest that glandular trichomes and associated compounds may act as constitutive defenses or require greater levels of stimulus for induction than the observed transcriptional responses to exogenous jasmonate. Reduced defense investment in domesticated lines is consistent with predicted tradeoffs caused by selection for increased yield; future research will focus on the development of genetic resources to explicitly test the ecological roles of glandular trichomes and associated effects on plant growth and fitness.