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Circumnutation Tracker: novel software for investigation of circumnutation

Stolarz, Maria, Żuk, Maciej, Król, Elżbieta, Dziubińska, Halina
Plant methods 2014 v.10 no.1 pp. 290
Helianthus annuus, algorithms, biological clocks, computer software, cotyledons, gravitropism, hypocotyls, leaves, nutation, roots, shoots, stems
BACKGROUND: An endogenous, helical plant organ movement named circumnutation is ubiquitous in the plant kingdom. Plant shoots, stems, tendrils, leaves, and roots commonly circumnutate but their appearance is still poorly described. To support such investigations, novel software Circumnutation Tracker (CT) for spatial-temporal analysis of circumnutation has been developed. RESULTS: CT works on time-lapse video and collected circumnutation parameters: period, length, rate, shape, angle, and clockwise- and counterclockwise directions. The CT combines a filtering algorithm with a graph-based method to describe the parameters of circumnutation. The parameters of circumnutation of Helianthus annuus hypocotyls and the relationship between cotyledon arrangement and circumnutation geometry are presented here to demonstrate the CT options. CONCLUSIONS: We have established that CT facilitates and accelerates analysis of circumnutation. In combination with the physiological, molecular, and genetic methods, this software may be a powerful tool also for investigations of gravitropism, biological clock, and membrane transport, i.e. processes involved in the mechanism of circumnutation.