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Morphological Plant Modeling: Unleashing Geometric and Topological Potential within the Plant Sciences

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889452972 Year: Pages: 296 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-297-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Botany
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:44
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An increasing population faces the growing demand for agricultural products and accurate global climate models that account for individual plant morphologies to predict favorable human habitat. Both demands are rooted in an improved understanding of the mechanistic origins of plant development. Such understanding requires geometric and topological descriptors to characterize the phenotype of plants and its link to genotypes. However, the current plant phenotyping framework relies on simple length and diameter measurements, which fail to capture the exquisite architecture of plants. The Research Topic “Morphological Plant Modeling: Unleashing Geometric and Topological Potential within the Plant Sciences” is the result of a workshop held at National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) in Knoxville, Tennessee. From 2.-4. September 2015 over 40 scientists from mathematics, computer science, engineering, physics and biology came together to set new frontiers in combining plant phenotyping with recent results from shape theory at the interface of geometry and topology. In doing so, the Research Topic synthesizes the views from multiple disciplines to reveal the potential of new mathematical concepts to analyze and quantify the relationship between morphological plant features. As such, the Research Topic bundles examples of new mathematical techniques including persistent homology, graph-theory, and shape statistics to tackle questions in crop breeding, developmental biology, and vegetation modeling. The challenge to model plant morphology under field conditions is a central theme of the included papers to address the problems of climate change and food security, that require the integration of plant biology and mathematics from geometry and topology research applied to imaging and simulation techniques. The introductory white paper written by the workshop participants identifies future directions in research, education and policy making to integrate biological and mathematical approaches and to strengthen research at the interface of both disciplines.

Branching and Rooting Out with a CT Scanner: The Why, the How, and the Outcomes, Present and Possibly Future

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889197910 Year: Pages: 91 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-791-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Botany --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-02-03 17:04:57
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Until recently, a majority of the applications of X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning in plant sciences remained descriptive; some included a quantification of the plant materials when the root-soil isolation or branch-leaf separation was satisfactory; and a few involved the modeling of plant biology processes or the assessment of treatment or disease effects on plant biomass and structures during growth. In the last decade, repeated CT scanning of the same plants was reported in an increasing number of studies in which moderate doses of X-rays had been used. Besides the general objectives of Frontiers in Plant Science research topics, “Branching and Rooting Out with a CT Scanner” was proposed to meet specific objectives: (i) providing a non-technical update on knowledge about the application of CT scanning technology to plants, starting with the type of CT scanning data collected (CT images vs. CT numbers) and their processing in the graphical and numerical approaches; (ii) drawing the limits of the CT scanning approach, which because it is based on material density can distinguish materials with contrasting or moderately overlapping densities (e.g., branches vs. leaves, roots vs. non-organic soils) but not the others (e.g., roots vs. organic soils); (iii) explaining with a sufficient level of detail the main procedures used for graphical, quantitative and statistical analyses of plant CT scanning data, including fractal complexity measures and statistics appropriate for repeated plant CT scanning, in experiments where the research hypotheses are about biological processes such as light interception by canopies, root disease development and plant growth under stress conditions; (iv) comparing plant CT scanning with an alternative technology that applies to plants, such as the phenomics platforms which target leaf canopies; and (v) providing current and potential users of plant CT scanning with up-to-date information and exhaustive documentation, including clear perspectives and well-defined goals for the future, for them to be even more efficient or most efficient from start in their research work.

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