rosettR: protocol and software for seedling area and growth analysis

Filipa Tomé, Karel Jansseune, Bernadette Saey, Jack Grundy, Korneel Vandenbroucke, Matthew A Hannah, Nils Henning Redestig

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Growth is an important parameter to consider when studying the impact of treatments or mutations on plant physiology. Leaf area and growth rates can be estimated efficiently from images of plants, but the experiment setup, image analysis, and statistical evaluation can be laborious, often requiring substantial manual effort and programming skills. Here we present rosettR, a non-destructive and high-throughput phenotyping protocol for the measurement of total rosette area of seedlings grown in plates in sterile conditions. We demonstrate that our protocol can be used to accurately detect growth differences among different genotypes and in response to light regimes and osmotic stress. rosettR is implemented as a package for the statistical computing software R and provides easy to use functions to design an experiment, analyze the images, and generate reports on quality control as well as a final comparison across genotypes and applied treatments. Experiment procedures are included as part of the package documentation. Using rosettR it is straight-forward to perform accurate, reproducible measurements of rosette area and relative growth rate with high-throughput using inexpensive equipment. Suitable applications include screening mutant populations for growth phenotypes visible at early growth stages and profiling different genotypes in a wide variety of treatments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalPlant Methods
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.


  • Growth
  • Image analysis
  • Leaf area
  • Phenotyping
  • R


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