Weitz Group @ Georgia Tech Theoretical Ecology and Quantitative Biology



Plant Networks: From Structure to Principles (2003-2017, no longer active)

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I have led multiple projects to improve the characterization of the physical structure of plant networks across scales and link structure with function and underlying principles of growth whenever possible. The start of this work began as a postdoc at Princeton University, working with Kiona Ogle and Henry on ontogenetic scaling in woody plants.

As faculty, the core distinguishing feature of my group’s contributions was the development of algorithms and software to extract network information directly from imaging data as a means to overcome the data-deficit in analysis of plant networks. We have released multiple computational tools including LEAF GUI (Price et al., Plant Phys 2011), GiA Roots (Galkovskyi et al., BMC Plant Biology 2012), & Digital Imaging of Root Traits aka DIRT (Das et al., Plant Phys, 2015). Using GiA Roots, we demonstrated the potential heritability of rice root system architecture (RSA) traits and helped identify dozens of QTLs underlying rice RSA. Similarly, using DIRT, we identified the heritability of critical RSA traits using field-based experiments in maize and cowpea.

If you are interested in following-up with this topic, consider exploring the work of a former group member, Prof. Alexander Bucksch who directs the Computational Plant Science Laboratory at the University of Georgia.

Note: I am no longer actively researching in this area after 10+ years of work.