Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 126, Issue 1, pp 187–192 | Cite as

Kinematic study of root elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana with a novel image-analysis program

  • Akitoshi IwamotoEmail author
  • Eri Kondo
  • Hirotomo Fujihashi
  • Munetaka Sugiyama
Technical Note


The measurement of the spatial profile of root elongation needs to determine matching points between time-lapse images and calculate their displacement. These data have been obtained by laborious manual methods in the past. Some computer-based programs have been developed to improve the measurement, but they require many time-series digital images or sprinkling graphite particles on the root prior to image capture. Here, we have developed GrowthTracer, a new image-analysis program for the kinematic study of root elongation. GrowthTracer employs a multiresolution image matching method with a nonlinear filter called the critical point filter (CPF), which extracts critical points from images at each resolution and can determine precise matching points by analysis of only two intact images, without pre-marking by graphite particles. This program calculates the displacement of each matching point and determines the displacement velocity profile along the medial axis of the root. In addition, a manual input of distinct matching points increases the matching accuracy. We show a successful application of this novel program for the kinematic analysis of root growth in Arabidopsis thaliana.


Kinematic analysis Root growth Multiresolution image matching Critical point filter Arabidopis thaliana 



Critical point filters


Relative elementary growth rate



This work was supported by: a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (no. 23119505 to AI); a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas (no. 19060001 to MS) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan

Supplementary material

10265_2012_523_MOESM1_ESM.docx (48 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 48 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akitoshi Iwamoto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eri Kondo
    • 1
  • Hirotomo Fujihashi
    • 2
  • Munetaka Sugiyama
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyTokyo Gakugei UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Ginkgo SoftwareTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Botanical Gardens, Graduate School of ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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