Objective Definition of Rosette Shape Variation Using a Combined Computer Vision and Data Mining Approach

Anyela Camargo-Rodriguez, Dimitra Papadopoulou, Zoi Spyropoulou, Konstantinos Vlachonasios, John H. Doonan, Alan P. Gay, Hector Candela (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (SciVal)
154 Downloads (Pure)


Computer-vision based measurements of phenotypic variation have implications for crop improvement and food security because they are intrinsically objective. It should be possible therefore to use such approaches to select robust genotypes. However, plants are morphologically complex and identification of meaningful traits from automatically acquired image data is not straightforward. Bespoke algorithms can be designed to capture and/or quantitate specific features but this approach is inflexible and is not generally applicable to a wide range of traits. In this paper, we have used industry-standard computer vision techniques to extract a wide range of features from images of genetically diverse Arabidopsis rosettes growing under non-stimulated conditions, and then used statistical analysis to identify those features that provide good discrimination between ecotypes. This analysis indicates that almost all the observed shape variation can be described by 5 principal components. We describe an easily implemented pipeline including image segmentation, feature extraction and statistical analysis. This pipeline provides a cost-effective and inherently scalable method to parameterise and analyse variation in rosette shape. The acquisition of images does not require any specialised equipment and the computer routines for image processing and data analysis have been implemented using open source software. Source code for data analysis is written using the R package. The equations to calculate image descriptors have been also provided.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere96889
Pages (from-to)e96889
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 07 May 2014


  • Algorithms
  • Arabidopsis/genetics
  • Data Mining
  • Ecotype
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Plant Leaves/genetics
  • Software


Dive into the research topics of 'Objective Definition of Rosette Shape Variation Using a Combined Computer Vision and Data Mining Approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this