From leaf to label: A robust automated workflow for stomata detection.
ABSTRACT: Plant leaf stomata are the gatekeepers of the atmosphere-plant interface and are essential building blocks of land surface models as they control transpiration and photosynthesis. Although more stomatal trait data are needed to significantly reduce the error in these model predictions, recording these traits is time-consuming, and no standardized protocol is currently available. Some attempts were made to automate stomatal detection from photomicrographs; however, these approaches have the disadvantage of using classic image processing or targeting a narrow taxonomic entity which makes these technologies less robust and generalizable to other plant species. We propose an easy-to-use and adaptable workflow from leaf to label. A methodology for automatic stomata detection was developed using deep neural networks according to the state of the art and its applicability demonstrated across the phylogeny of the angiosperms.We used a patch-based approach for training/tuning three different deep learning architectures. For training, we used 431 micrographs taken from leaf prints made according to the nail polish method from herbarium specimens of 19 species. The best-performing architecture was tested on 595 images of 16 additional species spread across the angiosperm phylogeny.The nail polish method was successfully applied in 78% of the species sampled here. The VGG19 architecture slightly outperformed the basic shallow and deep architectures, with a confidence threshold equal to 0.7 resulting in an optimal trade-off between precision and recall. Applying this threshold, the VGG19 architecture obtained an average F-score of 0.87, 0.89, and 0.67 on the training, validation, and unseen test set, respectively. The average accuracy was very high (94%) for computed stomatal counts on unseen images of species used for training.The leaf-to-label pipeline is an easy-to-use workflow for researchers of different areas of expertise interested in detecting stomata more efficiently. The described methodology was based on multiple species and well-established methods so that it can serve as a reference for future work.
Project description:Leaf stomatal density is known to co-vary with leaf vein density. However, the functional underpinning of this relation, and how it scales to whole-plant water transport anatomy, is still unresolved. We hypothesized that the balance of water exchange between the vapour phase (in stomata) and liquid phase (in vessels) depends on the consistent scaling between the summed stomatal areas and xylem cross-sectional areas, both at the whole-plant and single-leaf level. This predicted size co-variation should be driven by the co-variation of numbers of stomata and terminal vessels. We examined the relationships of stomatal traits and xylem anatomical traits from the entire plant to individual leaves across seedlings of 53 European woody angiosperm species. There was strong and convergent scaling between total stomatal area and stem xylem area per plant and between leaf total stomatal area and midvein xylem area per leaf across all the species, irrespective of variation in leaf habit, growth-form or relative growth rate. Moreover, strong scaling was found between stomatal number and terminal vessel number, whereas not in their respective average areas. Our findings have broad implications for integrating xylem architecture and stomatal distribution and deepen our understanding of the design rules of plants' water transport network.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Genome size is a function, and the product, of cell volume. As such it is contingent on ecological circumstance. The nature of 'this ecological circumstance' is, however, hotly debated. Here, we investigate for angiosperms whether stomatal size may be this 'missing link': the primary determinant of genome size. Stomata are crucial for photosynthesis and their size affects functional efficiency. METHODS:Stomatal and leaf characteristics were measured for 1442 species from Argentina, Iran, Spain and the UK and, using PCA, some emergent ecological and taxonomic patterns identified. Subsequently, an assessment of the relationship between genome-size values obtained from the Plant DNA C-values database and measurements of stomatal size was carried out. KEY RESULTS:Stomatal size is an ecologically important attribute. It varies with life-history (woody species < herbaceous species < vernal geophytes) and contributes to ecologically and physiologically important axes of leaf specialization. Moreover, it is positively correlated with genome size across a wide range of major taxa. CONCLUSIONS:Stomatal size predicts genome size within angiosperms. Correlation is not, however, proof of causality and here our interpretation is hampered by unexpected deficiencies in the scientific literature. Firstly, there are discrepancies between our own observations and established ideas about the ecological significance of stomatal size; very large stomata, theoretically facilitating photosynthesis in deep shade, were, in this study (and in other studies), primarily associated with vernal geophytes of unshaded habitats. Secondly, the lower size limit at which stomata can function efficiently, and the ecological circumstances under which these minute stomata might occur, have not been satisfactorally resolved. Thus, our hypothesis, that the optimization of stomatal size for functional efficiency is a major ecological determinant of genome size, remains unproven.
Project description:Stomata are microscopic pores formed by specialized cells in the leaf epidermis and permit gaseous exchange between the interior of the leaf and the atmosphere. Stomata in most plants are separated by at least one epidermal pavement cell and, individually, overlay a single substomatal cavity within the leaf. This spacing is thought to enhance stomatal function. Yet, there are several genera naturally exhibiting stomata in clusters and therefore deviating from the one-cell spacing rule with multiple stomata overlaying a single substomatal cavity. We made use of two Begonia species to investigate whether clustering of stomata alters guard cell dynamics and gas exchange under different light and dark treatments. Begonia plebeja, which forms stomatal clusters, exhibited enhanced kinetics of stomatal conductance and CO2 assimilation upon light stimuli that in turn were translated into greater water use efficiency. Our findings emphasize the importance of spacing in stomatal clusters for gaseous exchange and plant performance under environmentally limited conditions.
Project description:Stomata, the microvalves on leaf surfaces, exert major influences across scales, from plant growth and productivity to global carbon and water cycling. Stomatal opening enables leaf photosynthesis, and plant growth and water use, whereas plant survival of drought depends on stomatal closure. Here we report that stomatal function is constrained by a safety-efficiency trade-off, such that species with greater stomatal conductance under high water availability (g<sub>max</sub>) show greater sensitivity to closure during leaf dehydration, i.e., a higher leaf water potential at which stomatal conductance is reduced by 50% (?<sub>gs50</sub>). The g<sub>max</sub> - ?<sub>gs50</sub> trade-off and its mechanistic basis is supported by experiments on leaves of California woody species, and in analyses of previous studies of the responses of diverse flowering plant species around the world. Linking the two fundamental key roles of stomata-the enabling of gas exchange, and the first defense against drought-this trade-off constrains the rates of water use and the drought sensitivity of leaves, with potential impacts on ecosystems.
Project description:Stomata are specialized cellular structures in the epidermis of aerial plant organs that control gas exchange (H(2)O release and CO(2) uptake) between leaves and the atmosphere by modulating the aperture of a pore flanked by two guard cells. Stomata are nonrandomly distributed, and their density is controlled by endogenous and environmental factors. To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms regulating stomatal distribution, Arabidopsis thaliana mutants with altered stomatal characteristics were isolated and examined. The sdd1-1 mutant exhibits a two- to fourfold increase of stomatal density and formation of clustered stomata (i.e., stomata that are not separated by intervening pavement cells), whereas the internal leaf architecture is not altered. The SDD1 gene was identified by map-based cloning. It encodes a subtilisin-like serine protease related to prokaryotic and eukaryotic proteins. We propose that SDD1 acts as a processing protease involved in the mediation of a signal that controls the development of cell lineages that lead to guard cell formation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Stomata in rice control a number of physiological processes by regulating gas and water exchange between the atmosphere and plant tissues. The impact of the structural diversity of these micropores on its conductance level is an important area to explore before introducing stomatal traits into any breeding program in order to increase photosynthesis and crop yield. Therefore, an intensive measurement of structural components of stomatal complex (SC) of twenty three Oryza species spanning the primary, secondary and tertiary gene pools of rice has been conducted. RESULTS:Extensive diversity was found in stomatal number and size in different Oryza species and Oryza complexes. Interestingly, the dynamics of stomatal traits in Oryza family varies differently within different Oryza genetic complexes. Example, the Sativa complex exhibits the greatest diversity in stomatal number, while the Officinalis complex is more diverse for its stomatal size. Combining the structural information with the Oryza phylogeny revealed that speciation has tended towards increasing stomatal density rather than stomatal size in rice family. Thus, the most recent species (i.e. the domesticated rice) eventually has developed smaller yet numerous stomata. Along with this, speciation has also resulted in a steady increase in stomatal conductance (anatomical, gmax) in different Oryza species. These two results unambiguously prove that increasing stomatal number (which results in stomatal size reduction) has increased the stomatal conductance in rice. Correlations of structural traits with the anatomical conductance, leaf carbon isotope discrimination (?13C) and major leaf morphological and anatomical traits provide strong supports to untangle the ever mysterious dependencies of these traits in rice. The result displayed an expected negative correlation in the number and size of stomata; and positive correlations among the stomatal length, width and area with guard cell length, width on both abaxial and adaxial leaf surfaces. In addition, gmax is found to be positively correlated with stomatal number and guard cell length. The ?13C values of rice species showed a positive correlation with stomatal number, which suggest an increased water loss with increased stomatal number. Interestingly, in contrast, the ?13C consistently shows a negative relationship with stomatal and guard cell size, which suggests that the water loss is less when the stomata are larger. Therefore, we hypothesize that increasing stomatal size, instead of numbers, is a better approach for breeding programs in order to minimize the water loss through stomata in rice. CONCLUSION:Current paper generates useful data on stomatal profile of wild rice that is hitherto unknown for the rice science community. It has been proved here that the speciation has resulted in an increased stomatal number accompanied by size reduction during Oryza's evolutionary course; this has resulted in an increased gmax but reduced water use efficiency. Although may not be the sole driver of water use efficiency in rice, our data suggests that stomata are a potential target for modifying the currently low water use efficiency in domesticated rice. It is proposed that Oryza barthii can be used in traditional breeding programs in enhancing the stomatal size of elite rice cultivars.
Project description:A long-standing research focus in phytology has been to understand how plants allocate leaf epidermal space to stomata in order to achieve an economic balance between the plant's carbon needs and water use. Here, we present a quantitative theoretical framework to predict allometric relationships between morphological stomatal traits in relation to leaf gas exchange and the required allocation of epidermal area to stomata. Our theoretical framework was derived from first principles of diffusion and geometry based on the hypothesis that selection for higher anatomical maximum stomatal conductance (gsmax ) involves a trade-off to minimize the fraction of the epidermis that is allocated to stomata. Predicted allometric relationships between stomatal traits were tested with a comprehensive compilation of published and unpublished data on 1057 species from all major clades. In support of our theoretical framework, stomatal traits of this phylogenetically diverse sample reflect spatially optimal allometry that minimizes investment in the allocation of epidermal area when plants evolve towards higher gsmax . Our results specifically highlight that the stomatal morphology of angiosperms evolved along spatially optimal allometric relationships. We propose that the resulting wide range of viable stomatal trait combinations equips angiosperms with developmental and evolutionary flexibility in leaf gas exchange unrivalled by gymnosperms and pteridophytes.
Project description:The primary function of stomata is to minimize plant water loss while maintaining CO2 assimilation. Stomatal water loss incurs an indirect cost to photosynthesis in the form of non-stomatal limitations (NSL) via reduced carboxylation capacity (CAP) and/or mesophyll conductance (MES). Two optimal formulations for stomatal conductance (gs) arise from the assumption of each type of NSL. In reality, both NSL could coexist, but one may prevail for a given leaf ontogenetic stage or plant functional type, depending on leaf morphology. We tested the suitability of two gs formulations (CAP versus MES) on species from six plant functional types (C4 crop, C3 grass, fern, conifer, evergreen, and deciduous angiosperm trees). MES and CAP parameters (the latter proportional to the marginal water cost to carbon gain) decreased with water availability only in deciduous angiosperm trees, while there were no clear differences between leaf ontogenetic stages. Both CAP and MES formulations fit our data in most cases, particularly under low water availability. For ferns, stomata appeared to operate optimally only when subjected to water stress. Overall, the CAP formulation provided a better fit across all species, suggesting that sub-daily stomatal responses minimize NSL by reducing carboxylation capacity predominantly, regardless of leaf morphology and ontogenetic stage.
Project description:Global warming could increase leaf transpiration and soil evaporation, which can potentially cause water deficit to plants. As valves, leaf stomata can control plant water loss and carbon gain, particularly under water stress conditions. To investigate the responses of stomata to elevated temperature in Schima superba and Syzygium rehderianum, two co-occurring subtropical forest dominant tree species, functional traits related to gas exchange, stomatal anatomy, and drought resistance were measured under control and warming environment (ca. 2°C higher). We found that leaf water potential at both predawn and midday significantly decreased for the two species grown under warming conditions compared with those grown in the control environment. Warming resulted in significant decrease of stomatal size in S. rehderianum, but had no obvious effect on that of S. superba. By contrast, stomatal density of S. superba significantly decreased under warming conditions, while non-significant change was observed for S. rehderianum. In addition, warming significantly reduced photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, and stomatal sensitivity to leaf water potential of S. superba, but had non-significant effects on those of S. rehderianum. Overall, our results demonstrated that, confronting water deficit caused by elevated temperature, the two co-occurring subtropical tree species responded differently through the adjustment of stomatal morphology and photosynthetic function. Consequently, S. rehderianum was able to maintain similar carbon assimilation as under control environment, while S. superba showed a decrease in carbon gain that might bring adverse effect on its dominancy in subtropical forest community under future climate change.
Project description:It has been proposed that modification of leaf size, driven by epidermal cell size, balances leaf water supply (determined by veins) with transpirational demand (generated by stomata) during acclimation to local irradiance. We aimed to determine whether this is a general pattern among plant species with contrasting growth habits.We compared observed relationships between leaf minor vein density, stomatal density, epidermal cell size and leaf size in four pairs of herbs and woody species from the same families grown under sun and shade conditions with modelled relationships assuming vein and stomatal densities respond passively to epidermal cell expansion. Leaf lignin content was also quantified to assess whether construction costs of herbaceous leaf veins differ from those of woody plants and the leaf mass fraction invested in veins.Modelled relationships accurately described observed relationships, indicating that in all species, co-ordinated changes to the density of minor veins and stomata were mediated by a common relationship between epidermal cell size, vein density and stomatal density, with little or no impact from stomatal index. This co-ordination was independent of changes in leaf size and is likely to be an adaptive process driven by the significant proportion of biomass invested in veins (13·1 % of sun leaf dry weight and 21·7 % of shade leaf dry weight). Relative costs of venation increased in the shade, intensifying selective pressure towards economizing investment in vein density.Modulation of epidermal cell size appears to be a general mechanism among our experimental species to maintain a constant ratio between leaf anatomical traits that control leaf water fluxes independently of habit. We propose that this process may co-ordinate plasticity in hydraulic supply and demand in the majority of eudicot angiosperms.