3D micro-CT to resolve fine structures in plants: a case of Gerbera hybrida

September 7, 2023
AgroServ Finnish Advanced Light Microscopy Plant Biology User Forum

Imaging technologies support research into the structure and function of plants, shed light on plant health, resilience and adaptability, and help answer agroecology-related research questions. The Euro-BioImaging User Forum “Understanding Plant Biology” will showcase how imaging supports cutting edge research in this domain and provide information on funding opportunities for agroecology-related research projects via the AgroServ project. At this event, Teng Zhang, Viikki Plant Science Centre, University of Helsinki, explains how micro-CT helps to better resolve the fine structures of gerbera flower head development and with a special 3D computational model, to explain the phyllotactic pattern, work done in collaboration with the Finnish Biomedical Imaging Node. Full abstract below.

What: Euro-BioImaging User Forum “Understanding Plant Biology”

When: October 12, 2023, from 14:00-17:00 CEST

Where: Online

Full program



3D micro-CT to resolve fine structures in plants: a case of Gerbera hybrida

Teng Zhang, Viikki Plant Science Centre, University of Helsinki

Jiri  Funda, FiBI Node 

Plants have evolved diversified shoot structures for better adaptation. Such diversity depends upon the arrangement of their aerial organs, the leaves and flowers, a phenomenon known as phyllotaxis. The geometric regularity of phyllotaxis has attracted multidisciplinary interest for centuries, and our research aims to explain one of the most iconic example, the phyllotaxis in the flower heads of the sunflower family. In our research group, we are using the ornamental plant Gerbera hybrida as the experimental model. The gerbera flower head contains hundreds of individual florets arranged in left and right turning spirals, the number of which always follows the  consecutive Fibonacci numbers. However, the process that leads to this unique pattern happens in the small growing points, the meristems, located in a closed rosette below the soil. In this presentation, we will show how micro-CT helps us to better resolve the fine structures of gerbera flower head development, the results from which also guided our sampling and dissection strategies. Furthermore, the micro-CT data has been used to develop a 3D computational model based on the growing gerbera head to explain the phyllotactic pattern.

Read the full article here: https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2016304118#core-r12

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