Applications of image analysis in plant chromosome and chromatin structure study

Nobuko Ohmido, Astari Dwiranti, Seiji Kato, Kiichi Fukui

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: The use of image analysis to understand the structure of chromosome and chromatin is critical to the study of genetic evolution and diversification. Furthermore, a detailed chromosome map and the structure of chromatin in the nucleus may contribute to the plant breeding and the study of fundamental biology and genetics in organisms. Results: In plants with a fully annotated genome project, such as the Leguminosae species, the integration of genetic information, including DNA sequence data, a linkage map, and the cytological quantitative chromosome map could further improve their genetic value. The numerical parameters of chromocenters in 3D can provide useful genetic information for phylogenetic studies of plant diversity and heterochromatic markers whose epigenetic changes may explain the developmental and environmental changes in the plant genome. Extended DNA fibers combined with fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed the highest spatial resolution of the obtained genome structure. Moreover, image analysis at the nano-scale level using a helium ion microscope revealed the surface structure of chromatin, which consists of chromatin fibers compacted into plant chromosomes. Conclusions: The studies described in this review sought to measure and evaluate chromosome and chromatin using the image analysis method, which may reduce measurement time and improve resolution. Further, we discussed the development of an effective image analysis to evaluate the structure of chromosome and chromatin. An effective application study of cell biology and the genetics of plants using image analysis methods is expected to be a major propeller in the development of new applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-238
Number of pages13
JournalQuantitative Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • chromatin
  • chromosome
  • extended DNA fiber
  • helium ion microscopy
  • nucleus
  • plants


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