Leaf movement imaging


The original, low-cost system for timelapse analysis of plant growth uses 14 security video cameras controlled by a single PC, known as the "Kujata". The Kujata system was designed for the Kay lab at the University of Virgina, in 1994, and is available custom-built from Mark Hyett (mhyett@std.saic.com). It is efficient but no longer current technology, in part because it is based on the VESA video standard. The leaf movement and hypocotyl videos were taken with this system.

In 1999-2000, Andrew Millar and Kieron Edwards developed a new version known as KujaMorph, which uses almost entirely standard components under the control of MetaMorph software.

Video technology is moving quickly and to much lower costs, so there should (by 2003) be a better solution for someone who wants to put one together, perhaps based on USB web cameras ?


bulletLenses: 8mm fixed-focus, manual-iris
bulletCameras: inexpensive B/W security cameras, 380 TV lines
bulletCamera holders: adjustable, three-leg platform designed by Paul Goode and the Biol. Sci. workshop
bulletVideo switchers: Two Videoswitch VSX416, for 31 cameras. Any switcher with an alarm port will do, otherwise software drivers are required to change the channel. Many video switches have serial ports, which MetaMorph can also control with minimal programming.
bulletControl: custom parallel port cable to Videoswitch alarm port allows MetaMorph to change video channel without software drivers
bulletFramegrabber: Flashbus Pro. Any framegrabber supported by Metamorph will do.
bulletSoftware: MetaMorph with Custom I/O control, Motion detection and other options.
bulletHoused in temperature-controlled plant growth room in constant fluorescent light, with video cables to three Sanyo Gallenkamp ML350 illuminated growth chambers.
bulletSample holders: 25-cell tissue culture dishes for Arabidopsis seedlings, 2-inch strip pots on wooden mounts for Brassica.

Notes and gripes

bulletCameras should be gen-locked - we have sporadic flagging on the images and other synch problems, which sometimes lead the system to freeze if MetaMorph can't grab a frame. An error message over-ride in MetaMorph would solve the problem, all suggestions gratefully received.
bulletRemoving the switcher's text overlay would be useful
bulletMetaMorph drivers for Flashbus Pro framegrabber board support fewer acquisition channels than the board.

(see also Movies for labs with alternative cameras for imaging plant growth)


horizontal rule

Privacy and cookies. All content copyright University of Edinburgh unless otherwise stated.