During the early exponential growth phase of plants, the majority of photoassimilates are reinvested into new leaf material. Leaf area, one of many growth parameters, has been examined by time-lapse photography in Arabidopsis starch metabolism mutants.
The irregular shape of leaves can make measurement by traditional means difficult, especially for large numbers of plants. By taking a digital picture of the leaves to be measured, along with an object of known size, the pixel area of the leaves can be can quantified into physical units. This is accomplished using the color range and histogram tools in Adobe Photoshop. A screen capture demonstration of this process is available on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3O-V6WLw0g).
The accompanying song, Claire de Lune, was composed by Claude Debussy and performed by pianist Van Cliburn. For more plant biology related videos, please visit http://www.ChloroFilms.org.