DeepBacs: Bacterial image analysis using open-source deep learning approaches

Christoph Spahn, Estibaliz Gómez-de-Mariscal, Romain F. Laine, Pedro Matos Pereira, Estibaliz Gómez-de-Mariscal, Lucas von Chamier, Mia Conduit, Mariana Gomes de Pinho, Guillaume Jacquemet, Séamus Holden, Mike Heilemann, Ricardo Henriques (see publication in Journal )


Deep Learning (DL) is rapidly changing the field of microscopy, allowing for efficient analysis of complex data while often out-performing classical algorithms. This revolution has led to a significant effort to create user-friendly tools allowing biomedical researchers with little background in computer sciences to use this technology effectively. Thus far, these approaches have mainly focused on analysing microscopy images from eukaryotic samples and are still underused in microbiology. In this work, we demonstrate how to use a range of state-of-the-art artificial neural-networks particularly suited for the analysis of bacterial microscopy images, using our recently developed ZeroCostDL4Mic platform. We showcase different DL approaches for segmenting bright field and fluorescence images of different bacterial species, use object detection to classify different growth stages in time-lapse imaging data, and carry out DL-assisted phenotypic profiling of antibiotic-treated cells. To also demonstrate the DL capacity to enhance low-phototoxicity live-cell microscopy, we showcase how image denoising can allow researchers to attain high-fidelity data in faster and longer imaging. Finally, artificial labelling of cell membranes and predictions of super-resolution images allow for accurate mapping of cell shape and intracellular targets. To aid in the training of novice users, we provide a purposefully-built database of training and testing data, enabling bacteriologists to quickly explore how to analyse their data through DL. We hope this lays a fertile ground for the efficient application of DL in microbiology and fosters the creation of novel tools for bacterial cell biology and antibiotic research.