MorphoGraphX: A platform for quantifying morphogenesis in 4D

4 June


Large Lecture Theatre

Dr Richard Smith
Max Planck Institute

Plant organ shape emerges from complex interactions between genetic and mechanical processes. To understand these processes, it is essential to be able to quantify cell shape and gene expression changes at cellular resolution, over multiple time points. Ideally, a full 3D quantification of shape change and reporter expression over time is desired. Unfortunately, this is often technically challenging in opaque plant tissue. In cases where the processes of interest occur in a surface layer of cells, 2D projections can be used. However on highly curved organs, flat projections can introduce too much distortion to accurately record cell shape change. Here I will present MorphoGraphX, a software that bridges this gap by working directly with curved surface images extracted from 3D data. After recognizing the shape of a 3D plant organ, the surface is extracted, and the signal is projected on the surface to form a “2.5D” image.  In our software MorphoGraphX, we have developed a toolkit to enable image processing on these 2.5D images. During this seminar, I will present several examples of the use of the software to track growth and cell division in different plant organs.