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Workflow for phenotyping sugar beet roots by automated evaluation of cell characteristics and tissue arrangement using digital image processing

  • Autor/in: Nause, N., Y. Ispizua, M. Seidel, A.-K. Mahlein, C.M. Hoffmann
  • Jahr: 2023
  • Zeitschrift: Plant Methods 19(1)
  • Seite/n: 1-14, doi.org/10.1186/s13007-023-01014-0.


Background Cell characteristics, including cell type, size, shape, packing, cell-to-cell-adhesion, intercellular space, and cell wall thickness, influence the physical characteristics of plant tissues. Genotypic differences were found concerning damage susceptibility related to beet texture for sugar beet (Beta vulgaris). Sugar beet storage roots are characterized by heterogeneous tissue with several cambium rings surrounded by small-celled vascular tissue and big-celled sugar-storing parenchyma between the rings. This study presents a procedure for phenotyping heterogeneous tissues like beetroots by imaging. Results Ten Beta genotypes (nine sugar beet and one fodder beet) were included to establish a pipeline for the automated histologic evaluation of cell characteristics and tissue arrangement using digital image processing written in the programming language R. The identification of cells has been validated by comparison with manual cell identification. Cells are reliably discriminated from intercellular spaces, and cells with similar morphological features are assigned to biological tissue types. Conclusions Genotypic differences in cell diameter and cell arrangement can straightforwardly be phenotyped by the presented workflow. The presented routine can further identify genotypic differences in cell diameter and cell arrangement during early growth stages and between sugar storage capabilities.
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