Growth signature of rosette plants from time-lapse video

Journal Article (2015)


IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics







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Plant growth is a dynamic process, and the precise course of events during early plant development is of major interest for plant research. In this work, we investigate the growth of rosette plants by processing time-lapse videos of growing plants, where we use Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) as a model plant. In each frame of the video sequences, potential leaves are detected using a leaf-shape model. These detections are prone to errors due to the complex shape of plants and their changing appearance in the image, depending on leaf movement, leaf growth, and illumination conditions. To cope with this problem, we employ a novel graph-based tracking algorithm which can bridge gaps in the sequence by linking leaf detections across a range of neighboring frames. We use the overlap of fitted leaf models as a pairwise similarity measure, and forbid graph edges that would link leaf detections within a single frame. We tested the method on a set of tobacco-plant growth sequences, and could track the first leaves of the plant, including partially or temporarily occluded ones, along complete sequences, demonstrating the applicability of the method to automatic plant growth analysis. All seedlings displayed approximately the same growth behavior, and a characteristic growth signature was found.


computer vision, robot vision.

Scientific reference

B. Dellen, H. Scharr and C. Torras. Growth signature of rosette plants from time-lapse video. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, 12(6): 1470-1478, 2015.