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In Frontiers in plant science

Early prediction of pathogen infestation is a key factor to reduce the disease spread in plants. Macrophomina phaseolina (Tassi) Goid, as one of the main causes of charcoal rot disease, suppresses the plant productivity significantly. Charcoal rot disease is one of the most severe threats to soybean productivity. Prediction of this disease in soybeans is very tedious and non-practical using traditional approaches. Machine learning (ML) techniques have recently gained substantial traction across numerous domains. ML methods can be applied to detect plant diseases, prior to the full appearance of symptoms. In this paper, several ML techniques were developed and examined for prediction of charcoal rot disease in soybean for a cohort of 2,000 healthy and infected plants. A hybrid set of physiological and morphological features were suggested as inputs to the ML models. All developed ML models were performed better than 90% in terms of accuracy. Gradient Tree Boosting (GBT) was the best performing classifier which obtained 96.25% and 97.33% in terms of sensitivity and specificity. Our findings supported the applicability of ML especially GBT for charcoal rot disease prediction in a real environment. Moreover, our analysis demonstrated the importance of including physiological featured in the learning. The collected dataset and source code can be found in

Khalili Elham, Kouchaki Samaneh, Ramazi Shahin, Ghanati Faezeh


Macrophomina phaseolina (Tassi) Goid, charcoal rot, gradient tree boosting algorithm, machine learning, prediction