Potato Late Blight Detection at the Leaf and Canopy Levels Based in the Red and Red-Edge Spectral Regions


Share | 09/28/2020

Abstract: Potato late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans, is a major disease worldwide that has a significant economic impact on potato crops, and remote sensing might help to detect the disease in early stages. This study aims to determine changes induced by potato late blight in two parameters of the red and red-edge spectral regions: the red-well point (RWP) and the red-edge point (REP) as a function of the number of days post-inoculation (DPI) at the leaf and canopy levels. The RWP or REP variations were modelled using linear or exponential regression models as a function of the DPI. A Support Vector Machine (SVM) algorithm was used to classify healthy and infected leaves or plants using either the RWP or REP wavelength as well as the reflectances at 668, 705, 717 and 740 nm. Higher variations in the RWP and REP wavelengths were observed for the infected leaves compared to healthy leaves. The linear and exponential models resulted in higher adjusted R2 for the infected case than for the healthy case. The SVM classifier applied to the reflectance of the red and red-edge bands of the Micasense® Dual-X camera was able to sort healthy and infected cases with both the leaf and canopy measurements, reaching an overall classification accuracy of 89.33% at 3 DPI when symptoms were visible for the first time with the leaf measurements and of 89.06% at 5 DPI, i.e., two days after the symptoms became apparent, with the canopy measurements. The study shows that RWP and REP at leaf and canopy levels allow detecting potato late blight, but these parameters are less efficient to sort healthy and infected leaves or plants than the reflectance at 668, 705, 717 and 740 nm. Future research should consider larger samples, other cultivars and the test of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery for field-based detection.

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Authors: Claudio Ignacio Fernández, Brigitte Leblon, Ata Haddadi, Keri Wang and Jinfei Wang.

Associations: Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3, Canada. A & L Canada Laboratories, London, ON N5V 3P5, Canada. Department of Geography, University of Western Ontario, London, ON N6G 2V4, Canada.

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