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MuSeeQ, a novel supervised image analysis tool for the simultaneous phenotyping of the soluble mucilage and seed morphometric parameters

Abstract : BackgroundThe mucilage is a model to study the polysaccharide biosynthesis since it is produced in large amounts and composed of complex polymers. In addition, it is of great economic interest for its technical and nutritional value. A fast method for phenotyping the released mucilage and the seed morphometric parameters will be useful for fundamental, food, pharmaceutical and breeding researches. Current strategies to phenotype soluble mucilage are restricted to visual evaluations or are highly time-consuming.ResultsHere, we developed a high-throughput phenotyping method for the simultaneous measurement of the soluble mucilage content released on a gel and the seed morphometric parameters. Within this context, we combined a biochemical assay and an open-source computer-aided image analysis tool, MuSeeQ. The biochemical assay consists in sowing seeds on an agarose medium containing the dye toluidine blue O, which specifically stains the mucilage once it is released on the gel. The second part of MuSeeQ is a macro developed in ImageJ allowing to quickly extract and analyse 11 morphometric data of seeds and their respective released mucilages. As an example, MuSeeQ was applied on a flax recombinant inbred lines population (previously screened for fatty acids content.) and revealed significant correlations between the soluble mucilage shape and the concentration of some fatty acids, e.g. C16:0 and C18:2. Other fatty acids were also found to correlate with the seed shape parameters, e.g. C18:0 and C18:2. MuSeeQ was then showed to be used for the analysis of other myxospermous species, including Arabidopsis thaliana and Camelina sativa.ConclusionsMuSeeQ is a low-cost and user-friendly method which may be used by breeders and researchers for phenotyping simultaneously seeds of specific cultivars, natural variants or mutants and their respective soluble mucilage area released on a gel. The script of MuSeeQ and video tutorials are freely available at
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Fabien Miart, Jean-Xavier J.-X. Fontaine, Christophe Pineau, Hervé Demailly, Brigitte Thomasset, et al.. MuSeeQ, a novel supervised image analysis tool for the simultaneous phenotyping of the soluble mucilage and seed morphometric parameters. Plant Methods, BioMed Central, 2018, 14 (1), pp.1-17. ⟨10.1186/s13007-018-0377-5⟩. ⟨hal-01992925⟩



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