Computer Vision Approaches for Mapping Gene Expression onto Lineage Trees.

Authors Manan Lalit
University Technische Universit├Ąt Dresden
Examination Date 2022-10-20
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Print Publication Date 2022-10-20
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Abstract This project concerns studying the early development of living organisms. This period is accompanied by dynamic morphogenetic events. There is an increase in the number of cells, changes in the shape of cells and specification of cell fate during this time. Typically, in order to capture the dynamic morphological changes, one can employ a form of microscopy imaging such as Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy (SPIM) which offers a single-cell resolution across time, and hence allows observing the positions, velocities and trajectories of most cells in a developing embryo. Unfortunately, the dynamic genetic activity which underlies these morphological changes and influences cellular fate decision, is captured only as static snapshots and often requires processing (sequencing or imaging) multiple distinct individuals. In order to set the stage for characterizing the factors which influence cellular fate, one must bring the data arising from the above-mentioned static snapshots of multiple individuals and the data arising from SPIM imaging of other distinct individual(s) which characterizes the changes in morphology, into the same frame of reference. In this project, a computational pipeline is established, which achieves the aforementioned goal of mapping data from these various imaging modalities and specimens to a canonical frame of reference. This pipeline relies on the three core building blocks of Instance Segmentation, Tracking and Registration. In this dissertation work, I introduce EmbedSeg which is my solution to performing instance segmentation of 2D and 3D (volume) image data. Next, I introduce LineageTracer which is my solution to performing tracking of a time-lapse (2d+t, 3d+t) recording. Finally, I introduce PlatyMatch which is my solution to performing registration of volumes. Errors from the application of these building blocks accumulate which produces a noisy observation estimate of gene expression for the digitized cells in the canonical frame of reference. These noisy estimates are processed to infer the underlying hidden state by using a Hidden Markov Model (HMM) formulation. Lastly, for wider dissemination of these methods, one requires an effective visualization strategy. A few details about the employed approach are also discussed in the dissertation work. The pipeline was designed keeping imaging volume data in mind, but can easily be extended to incorporate other data modalities, if available, such as single cell RNA Sequencing (scRNA-Seq) (more details are provided in the Discussion chapter). The methods elucidated in this dissertation would provide a fertile playground for several experiments and analyses in the future. Some of such potential experiments and current weaknesses of the computational pipeline are also discussed additionally in the Discussion Chapter.
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Created By thuem
Added Date 2023-01-20
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Last Edited Date 2023-01-20 10:55:45.387
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