Mapping soft rot decay distribution using image analysis
P J Wickens, R J Murphy, G F M Watts
Image analysis has been shown to be a useful technique for the assessment of soft rot decay caused by Chaetomium globosum in birch and bamboo (Wickens and Murphy, 1992). The technique can permit assessment of decay in individual or small groups of cells and this has been used to undertake soft rot decay mapping in thin sections of bamboo. Assessments were made of the extent of soft rot decay with time in different fibre areas within individual vascular bundles. Comparisons were also made between bundles in different parts of the culm wall. The observations made indicated differences in the soft rot susceptibility of fibres depending upon their location in, and the age of, the culm wall. The location of fibres of different soft rot susceptibility could be mapped accurately using image analysis and this distribution compared with the known variation in fibre wall structure and composition. The advantages of image analysis techniques for such research are discussed.