2020 Volume 37 Issue 4 Pages 429-435
In most dicotyledonous plants, leaf pavement cells exhibit complex jigsaw puzzle-like cell morphogenesis during leaf expansion. Although detailed molecular biological information and mathematical modeling of this jigsaw puzzle-like cell morphogenesis are now available, a full understanding of this process remains elusive. Recent reports have highlighted the importance of three-dimensional (3D) structures (i.e., anticlinal and periclinal cell wall) in understanding the mechanical models that describe this morphogenetic process. We believe that it is important to acquire 3D shapes of pavement cells over time, i.e., acquire and analyze four-dimensional (4D) information when studying the relationship between mechanical modeling and simulations and the actual cell shape. In this report, we have developed a framework to capture and analyze 4D morphological information of Arabidopsis thaliana cotyledon pavement cells by using both direct water immersion observations and computational image analyses, including segmentation, surface modeling, virtual reality and morphometry. The 4D cell models allowed us to perform time-lapse 3D morphometrical analysis, providing detailed quantitative information about changes in cell growth rate and shape, with cellular complexity observed to increase during cell growth. The framework should enable analysis of various phenotypes (e.g., mutants) in greater detail, especially in the 3D deformation of the cotyledon surface, and evaluation of theoretical models that describe pavement cell morphogenesis using computational simulations. Additionally, our accurate and high-throughput acquisition of growing cell structures should be suitable for use in generating in silico model cell structures.