Towards Automatic Construction of Cell-Lineage of C.elegans from Nomarski DIC Microscope Images

Tomohiro Yasuda[1][2] (
Hideo Bannai [1][2] (
Shuichi Onami[1] (
Satoru Miyano[1][3] (
Hiroaki Kitano[1][4] (

[1] Kitano Symbiotic Systems Project, ERATO, JST
M-31 Suite 6A, 6-31-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
[2] Department of Information Science, Faculty of Science, University of Tokyo
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8654, Japan
[3] Human Genome Center, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo
4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan


This study aims at automatic construction of a cell lineage from 4D(multi-focal, time-lapse) images, which are taken using a Nomarski DIC (differential-interference contrast) microscope. A system with such abilities would be a powerful tool for studying embryo genesis and gene function based on mutants, whose cell lineage may differ from that of wild types. We have designed and implemented a system for this purpose, and examined its ability through computational experiments. The procedure of our system consists of two parts: (1) Image processing which detect the positions of the nuclei from each 2D microscope image, and (2) Constructing a hypothetical cell lineage based on the information obtained in (1). We have also developed a tool which allows a human expert to easily filter out erroneous nuclei candidates generated in (1). We present computational results and also discuss other ideas which may improve the performance of our system.

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Japanese Society for Bioinformatics