• Arabidopsis thaliana;
  • developmental equivalence;
  • feature tracking;
  • growth kinematics;
  • primary stem development


  • Directional growth in Arabidopsis thaliana during bolting of the inflorescence stem makes this an attractive system for study of the underlying processes of tissue elongation and cell wall extension. Analysis of local molecular events accompanying Arabidopsis inflorescence stem elongation is hampered by difficulties in isolating developmentally matched tissue samples from different plants.
  • Here, we present a novel sampling approach in which specific developmental stages along the developing stem are defined nonintrusively in terms of their relative elemental growth rate by use of time-lapse imagery and subsequent derivation of growth kinematic profiles for individual plants.
  • Growth kinematic profiling reveals that key developmental transitions such as the point of maximum elongation rate and the point of cessation of elongation occur over broad and overlapping ranges across individuals within a population of the Columbia (Col-0) ecotype. The position of these transitions is only weakly correlated with overall plant height, which undermines the common assumption that physically similar plants have closely matched growth profiles.
  • This kinematic profiling approach provides high-resolution growth phenotyping of the developing stem and thereby enables the harvest, pooling and analysis of developmentally matched tissue samples from multiple Arabidopsis plants.