An automatic segmentation method for scanned images of wheat root systems with dark discolourations
The analysis of plant root system images plays an important role in the diagnosis of plant health state, the detection of possible diseases and growth distortions. This paper describes an initial stage of automatic analysis—the segmentation method for scanned images of Ni-treated wheat roots from hydroponic culture. The main roots of a wheat fibrous system are placed separately in the scanner view area on a high chroma background (blue or red). The first stage of the method includes the transformation of a scanned RGB image into the HCI (Hue-Chroma-Intensity) colour space and then local thresholding of the chroma component to extract a binary root image. Possible chromatic discolourations, different from background colour, are added to the roots from blue or red chroma subcomponent images after thresholding. At the second stage, dark discolourations are extracted by local fuzzy c-means clustering of an HCI intensity image within the binary root mask. Fuzzy clustering is applied in local windows around the series of sample points on roots medial axes (skeleton). The performance of the proposed method is compared with hand-labelled segmentation for a series of several root systems.