Measuring Root Surface Area and Mean Root Diameter of Peach Seedlings by Digital Image Analysis

in HortScience
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  • 1 Agriculture Canada Research Station, Summerland, BC V0H 1Z0, Canada

Using area profile integration software and an image processing system, we reliably estimated total root surface area of intact each [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] seedlings by 1) producing high-quality monochromatic video images under preset and constant conditions; 2) determining a threshold gray intensity value that differentiates the finest roots on the image; 3) producing a binary image where all pixels with gray values above the threshold are black; 4) determining the proportion of black pixels on the 480× 512-pixel matrix; and 5) multiplying this two-dimensional root surface value by π to estimate total root surface area. Normalized intensity (an average intensity weighted according to the proportion of the binary image in each gray scale class) was calculated using software that superimposed the video image on the binary image and was used to estimate mean root diameter. Evidence of reliability and examples of the use of both estimates are provided.

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