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Trends Plant Sci. 2017 Jul;22(7):559-566. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2017.05.002. Epub 2017 May 29.

Image Analysis in Plant Sciences: Publish Then Perish.

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Agrosphäre (IBG-3), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany; Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. Electronic address:


Image analysis has become a powerful technique for most plant scientists. In recent years dozens of image analysis tools have been published in plant science journals. These tools cover the full spectrum of plant scales, from single cells to organs and canopies. However, the field of plant image analysis remains in its infancy. It still has to overcome important challenges, such as the lack of robust validation practices or the absence of long-term support. In this Opinion article, I: (i) present the current state of the field, based on data from the database; (ii) identify the challenges faced by its community; and (iii) propose workable ways of improvement.


image analysis; maintenance; open data; open science; validation

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