A Semi-automatic Cell Tracking Process Towards Completing the 4D Atlas of C. elegans Development

by   Andrew Lauziere, et al.
University of Maryland
National Institutes of Health

The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is used as a model organism to better understand developmental biology and neurobiology. C. elegans features an invariant cell lineage, which has been catalogued and observed using fluorescence microscopy images. However, established methods to track cells in late-stage development fail to generalize once sporadic muscular twitching has begun. We build upon methodology which uses skin cells as fiducial markers to carry out cell tracking despite random twitching. In particular, we present a cell nucleus segmentation and tracking procedure which was integrated into a 3D rendering GUI to improve efficiency in tracking cells across late-stage development. Results on images depicting aforementioned muscle cell nuclei across three test embryos suggest the fiducial markers in conjunction with a classic tracking paradigm overcome sporadic twitching.


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