X-ray Microscopic Examination of a Rose

Figure 1: Mounted rose ready for imaging

Approximately 250 million roses are grown around the world to prepare for the annual Valentine’s Day holiday each February.1 While roses are renowned for their beauty, ensuring that each field of farmed roses will be ready to blossom just in time for the holiday requires a balance of science and art to pull off each year.

Angiosperms are one of the most successful groups on earth, in large part due to the reproductive efficiency of flowers. Aside from their beauty, flowers have important agro-economic importance since much of our food comes directly from fruits and seeds, which are parts and products of flowers. Understanding the mechanisms underlying flower development and fertilization is critical to today’s breeding, research, and crop management. Micro-CT’s non-destructive 3D image acquisition and processing methods are better able to track plant movement, growth, and yield over time than 2D methods alone. Researchers are using 3D reconstructed plant models to describe leaf features and discriminate between weed and crop, among other insights.

We utilized the SkyScan 1273 desktop micro-CT to visualize and create a digital model of a rose from a dataset acquired in under five minutes.

X-Ray Microscopic Imaging of a Rose

A fresh rose was removed from a bouquet and the stem was trimmed before placing it in water to keep the flower hydrated during imaging. Any loose or damaged petals were removed from the perimeter of the flower to minimize motion artifacts during imaging. We examined the rose using our high-capacity SkyScan 1273 micro-CT with the continuous imaging mode at an isotropic voxel size of 50 µm. For delicate samples that may have difficulty remaining stable for long periods of imaging, the continuous imaging mode present within the SkyScan 1273 is a great solution to acquire a high-quality dataset at a fraction of the time required for traditional step-and-shoot imaging. For this specific example, we imaged the rose in less than five minutes.

 

Figure 2: Planar 2D slices through the rose

As shown in Figure 2, DataViewer provides us with a linked set of 2D images to navigate through the dataset. Within the dataset we see the highest intensity signal within the stem of the flower, which is logical since the stem is the storehouse for the flower and contains the water and nutrients needed to keep the flower blooming.

 


Figure 3: CTVox rendered volumetric model of the rose dataset

 

Since the grayscale values for the stem are higher than those of the flower petals, CTVox can apply color mapping to the dataset to highlight the different regions as shown in Figure 3. While this dataset only has two distinct regions to highlight, CTVox allows you to apply as many colors as desired to best communicate your findings with the world.

Figure 4: Maverick 3D renderings of the flower and stem dataset

From our reconstructed datasets, we were able to import different versions of our dataset into Simpleware ScanIP software. The CAD add-on module was used to segment into volumetric models with one model representing the stem and green leaves and the other model representing the flower petals. Maverick Render Indie then allowed us to apply colors and textures to the models, as shown in Figure 4.

Conclusion

Among the SkyScan product line, the SkyScan 1273 is a workhorse instrument with the most flexibility for different sample types within our portfolio. Being a benchtop system and full self-shielding makes the SkyScan 1273 a great fit for many laboratories.

We hope you found this Image of the Month informative and encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter and social media channels in preparation for the continuation of our Image of the Month series next month.

Scan Specifications

Sample Rose
Voltage (kV) 50
Current (µA) 300
Filter none
Voxel Size (nm) 50
Rotation Step Continuous
Exposure Time (ms) 90
Rotation Extent (deg.) 180
Scan Time (HH:MM:SS) 00:04:05

These scans were completed on our SkyScan 1273 micro-CT system at the Micro Photonics Imaging Laboratory in Allentown, PA. Reconstructions were completed using NRecon 2.0 while visualization and volumetric inspection of the 2D and 3D results were completed using DataViewer and CTVox. The ion exchange beads and plastic tubing were converted to STL volumetric models using Synopsys’ Simpleware ScanIP software with the CAD add-on module (Synopsys, Inc., Mountain View, USA) before 3D rendering using Maverick Render Indie (Random Control, Madrid, Spain).

Would you like your work to be featured in our monthly newsletter? If so, please contact us by calling Seth Hogg at 610-366-7103 or emailing seth.hogg@microphotonics.com.

References

1https://www.ocwholesaleflowers.com/why-do-roses-cost-more-on-valentines-day/

*Simpleware software (Synopsys, Inc., Mountain View, USA) enables you to comprehensively process 3D image data (MRI, CT, micro-CT, FIB-SEM…) and export models suitable for CAD, CAE and 3D printing. Use Simpleware software’s capabilities to visualize, analyze, and quantify your data, and to export models for design and simulation workflows. Simpleware™ is a trademark of Synopsys, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

 

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