DRACO-STEM: An Automatic Tool to Generate High-Quality 3D Meshes of Shoot Apical Meristem Tissue at Cell Resolution.

G. Cerutti, O. Ali & C. Godin

Front. Plant Sci, vol. 8 pp.13-15. (2017)


The shoot apical meristem (SAM), origin of all aerial organs of the plant, is a restricted niche of stem cells whose growth is regulated by a complex network of genetic, hormonal and mechanical interactions. Studying the development of this area at cell level using 3D microscopy time-lapse imaging is a newly emerging key to understand the processes controlling plant morphogenesis. Computational models have been proposed to simulate those mechanisms, however their validation on real-life data is an essential step that requires an adequate representation of the growing tissue to be carried out.

The tool we introduce is a two-stage computational pipeline that generates a complete 3D triangular mesh of the tissue volume based on a segmented tissue image stack. DRACO (Dual Reconstruction by Adjacency Complex Optimization) is designed to retrieve the underlying 3D topological structure of the tissue and compute its dual geometry, while STEM (SAM Tissue Enhanced Mesh) returns a faithful triangular mesh optimized along several quality criteria (intrinsic quality, tissue reconstruction, visual adequacy). Quantitative evaluation tools measuring the performance of the method along those different dimensions are also provided. The resulting meshes can be used as input and validation for biomechanical simulations.