Assessing the Storage Root Development of Cassava with a New Analysis Tool
Storage roots of cassava plants crops are one of the main providers of starch in many South American, African, and Asian countries. Finding varieties with high yields is crucial for growing and breeding. This requires a better understanding of the dynamics of storage root formation, which is usually done by repeated manual evaluation of root types, diameters, and their distribution in excavated roots. We introduce a newly developed method that is capable to analyze the distribution of root
... ters automatically, even if root systems display strong variations in root widths and clustering in high numbers. An application study was conducted with cassava roots imaged in a video acquisition box. The root diameter distribution was quantified automatically using an iterative ridge detection approach, which can cope with a wide span of root diameters and clustering. The approach was validated with virtual root models of known geometries and then tested with a time-series of excavated root systems. Based on the retrieved diameter classes, we show plausibly that the dynamics of root type formation can be monitored qualitatively and quantitatively. We conclude that this new method reliably determines important phenotypic traits from storage root crop images. The method is fast and robustly analyses complex root systems and thereby applicable in high-throughput phenotyping and future breeding.