Special Issue "The Geometry of Seeds: Seed Shape Definition and Quantification Based on Geometrical Diversity"

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Emilio Cervantes
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
IRNASA-CSIC, Salamanca E-37008, Spain
Interests: Seed science, seed morphology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Shape is an important property of plants used for the description of organs and structures, such as leaves (for example, Drosera rotundifolia, Plantago ovata), fruits (Coronilla scorpioides, Eugenia pyriformis), and seeds (Polanisia trachysperma, Punica granatum).
Seed description is based on the similarity to geometrical objects such as the sphere, ovoid, or cardioid. However, seed shape description also needs to be quantitative.
Recent methods for the comparison of seed shapes depend on high-throughput systems based on digital image analysis. These methods use the combination of artificial vision technologies with statistical algorithms and may be very efficient for the discrimination of plant species and varieties. However, often these methods do not take into consideration the similarity of seeds with geometrical figures, missing an important reference point.
This has resulted in a "gap" in the current scientific literature on seed shape. Current methods based on artificial vision, algorithms, and statistical analysis need to go back to the initial seed images, combining geometric models with quantitative and statistical methods to analyze seed shapes.
The objective of this Special Issue is to bring together studies on both classical approaches to determine seed shape, based on the similarity to geometrical objects, and modern statistical methods. We do not search for new sophisticated algorithms or statistical applications but for geometrical models that may be applied for seed shape quantification in diverse plant families, genera, species, and varieties.

In summary, quantification of seed shape may offer advantages in the following aspects:

  1. Description of plant species
  2. Phenotypic analysis of mutants
  3. Analysis of seed quality
  4. Validation and visual verification of digital image analysis-based methods of seed shape comparison

We welcome submissions on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Identification of geometric models suitable for the quantification of seed shape.
  • Quantification of seed shape in diverse taxonomical groups by the comparison with geometric models.
  • Examination of the relationship between seed shape and other biological traits related to life form, life cycle, etc.
  • Comparison of geometric models with others based on known techniques of geometric morphometry (i.e., the Elliptical Fourier Descriptors, EFDs).
  • Investigation of the relationship between morpho-colorimetric seed features and phenotypic traits (i.e., color of fruit, size, etc.).
  • Characterization and identification of archaeological seeds by morpho-colorimetric analysis.

We expect to collect a set of articles that highlight the importance of seed geometry for the description of seed shape and adequately emphasize this technique for taxonomy.

Dr. Emilio Cervantes
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Horticulturae is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Ecology
  • form
  • J index
  • life cycles
  • morphology
  • seed
  • shape

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
An Angiosperm Species Dataset Reveals Relationships between Seed Size and Two-Dimensional Shape
Horticulturae 2019, 5(4), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae5040071 - 09 Oct 2019
Abstract
Datasets containing information on seed size have been published and are currently available. Nevertheless, there is a lack in the literature of a dataset dedicated to seed shape. We present a preliminary version for a dataset on seed morphology based on a comparison [...] Read more.
Datasets containing information on seed size have been published and are currently available. Nevertheless, there is a lack in the literature of a dataset dedicated to seed shape. We present a preliminary version for a dataset on seed morphology based on a comparison of seed shape with geometric figures. Similarity of the outline of seed images with geometric models is considered as a basis to classify seeds according to the geometric figures they resemble (e.g., ellipse, oval, cardioid). This allows, first, the classification of plant species according to their geometric type of seed, and second, seed shape quantification. For each seed image, the percent of similarity of their outline with a geometric figure can be calculated as a J index. Similarity in absolute terms is considered only when the J index >90. This criterion is important to avoid ambiguity and increase discrimination. The dataset opens the possibility of studying the relationship between seed shape and other variables such as seed size, genome complexity, life form or adaptive responses. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report
The Relationship between Shape and Size of Diaspores Depends on Being Seeds or Fruits
Horticulturae 2019, 5(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae5030065 - 09 Sep 2019
Abstract
The relationship between the size and shape of diaspores was investigated in angiosperms and gymnosperms including determining if being a seed or fruit was a factor. Size was expressed as volume and shape as the departure from a perfect idealized sphere. Departure from [...] Read more.
The relationship between the size and shape of diaspores was investigated in angiosperms and gymnosperms including determining if being a seed or fruit was a factor. Size was expressed as volume and shape as the departure from a perfect idealized sphere. Departure from sphericity in seeds was found to be independent from volume. Conversely, an inverse relationship was found between departure from sphericity and volume in fruits. Therefore, whether a diaspore is a seed or a fruit should be considered and included in analyses when ecological, functional or evolutionary correlates of diaspore morphology are under investigation. Full article
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Open AccessOpinion
Seed Shape Description and Quantification by Comparison with Geometric Models
Horticulturae 2019, 5(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae5030060 - 19 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Modern methods of image analysis are based on the coordinates of the points making the silhouette of an image and allow the comparison between seed shape in different species and varieties. Nevertheless, these methods miss an important reference point because they do not [...] Read more.
Modern methods of image analysis are based on the coordinates of the points making the silhouette of an image and allow the comparison between seed shape in different species and varieties. Nevertheless, these methods miss an important reference point because they do not take into consideration the similarity of seeds with geometrical figures. We propose a method based on the comparison of the bi-dimensional images of seeds with geometric figures. First, we describe six geometric figures that may be used as models for shape description and quantification and later on, we give an overview with examples of some of the types of seed morphology in angiosperms including families of horticultural plants and addressing the question of how is the distribution of seed shape in these families. The relationship between seed shape and other characteristics of plant species is discussed. Full article
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