In the past decade, Physcomitrella Patens has become a popular model organism for its simple development and powerful molecular tools. This project focuses on developing approaches which are able to provide quantitative metrics in two areas: moss morphology and chloroplast motility. We begin by introducting the concept of the fractal dimension and presenting experimental data obtained via the box-counting algorithm. A simple model of plant growth based on L-systems is developed which is able to recapitulate the experimental results. A tracking algorithm was devised and used to track chloroplasts. Based on the trajectories of the chloroplasts, we find, through an analysis of moments of displacement, that microtubles are the primary facilitators of chloroplast motility in moss.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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