Identifying biological landmarks using a novel cell measuring image analysis tool: Cell-o-Tape

Andrew P French#, Michael H Wilson, Kim Kenobi, Daniela Dietrich, Ute Voß, Susana Úbeda-Tomás, Tony P Pridmore & Darren M Wells

Background

The ability to quantify the geometry of plant organs at the cellular scale can provide novel insights into their structural organization. Hitherto manual methods of measurement provide only very low throughput and subjective solutions, and often quantitative measurements are neglected in favour of a simple cell count.

Results

We present a tool to count and measure individual neighbouring cells along a defined file in confocal laser scanning microscope images. The tool allows the user to extract this generic information in a flexible and intuitive manner, and builds on the raw data to detect a significant change in cell length along the file. This facility can be used, for example, to provide an estimate of the position of transition into the elongation zone of an Arabidopsis root, traditionally a location sensitive to the subjectivity of the experimenter.

Conclusions

Cell-o-tape is shown to locate cell walls with a high degree of accuracy and estimate the location of the transition feature point in good agreement with human experts. The tool is an open source ImageJ/Fiji macro and is available online.

Plant Methods 8 (1), 7