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    Applications of Micro-CT to Study Seed Development

    Microcomputer tomography (microCT) as a tool in Pinus tree breeding: pilot studies

    Pinus breeding programs yield high numbers of seeds, but a non-destructive method to determine seed viability was needed. The Pinus species has a long reproductive cycle — up to 28 months — so determining when fertilization occurs is helpful when applying tissue culture methods. In this study, “the microCT data for extracted seeds of the three species identified some seeds with large voids, which suggest non-viability (low to zero germination potential), and that was confirmed by the germination test.”This study confirms the feasibility of using micro-CT scans to confirm fertilization and determine seed viability in Pinus tree breeding programs.

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    Micro-CT imaging of tomato seeds: Predictive potential of 3D morphometry on germination

    The percentage of 3D free space is the most effective parameter to predict germination outcomes for tomato seeds. In this study, a germination test was carried out along with the morphometric characterization of tomato seed internal structure using micro-CT scanning. The goal was to accurately evaluate the predictive potential of internal seed 3D morphology for germination outcomes. Micro-CT proved to be an effective tool to investigate the relationship between tomato seed 3D morphology and seed physiology.

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    X-ray microtomography in comparison to radiographic analysis of mechanically damaged maize seeds and its effect on seed germination

    Mechanical damage to seeds may affect seed germination and reduce the health and vigor of seed production. This study utilizes micro-CT scanning to evaluate mechanical damage to maize seeds and the effects on seed germination. Micro-CT provided a precise mechanical damage characterization of maize seeds that was associated with seed germination and vigor. It was found that the increased percentage of damaged area in the coronal planes through the endosperm and endosperm + embryo was directly related to the short seedling length and lesser dry biomass. “This imaging technique represents an efficient non-invasive procedure for high-resolution seed inspection and is very promising in evaluating mechanical damage, injuries caused by insects, embryonic abnormalities and other morphological alterations in seeds caused by biotic or abiotic agents.”

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    High-Throughput Phenotyping of Morphological Seed and Fruit Characteristics Using X-Ray Computed Tomography

    In the past, seed and fruit phenotyping has been primarily accomplished by manual measurement or extraction of morphological properties from 2D images. These methods are low in throughput and don’t allow for the evaluation of 3D characteristics and the internal morphology of the seeds and fruit. Micro-CT scanning offers an easy way to non-destructively record the external and internal 3D structures of seeds and fruits. In this study, researchers introduced a “…high-throughput image acquisition approach by mounting a specially designed seed-fruit container onto the scanning bed. The corresponding 3D image analysis software, 3DPheno-Seed&Fruit, was created for automatic segmentation and rapid quantification of eight morphological phenotypes of internal and external compartments of seeds and fruits.” These methods may provide robust tools for phenotyping morphological seed and fruit traits that could benefit crop breeding and functional genomics.

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    Related Articles:

    Micro-CT Imaging for a Strawberry Seed

    Micro-CT of a Staghorn Sumac

    Micro-CT of Fruits

    Applications of Micro-CT

    Micro Photonics Inc. provides instruments, laboratory services, training, and support from micro-CT experts
    to help research scientists meet their most complex laboratory demands.

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    Request: FREE EVALUATION SCAN to see how micro-CT works with your application.

    Contact: Benjamin Ache, Product Manager, Bruker Micro-CTs P: 610-366-7103 ext 115.

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