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In Frontiers in plant science

Light-based methods are being further developed to meet the growing demands for food in the agricultural industry. Optical imaging is a rapid, non-destructive, and accurate technology that can produce consistent measurements of product quality compared to conventional techniques. In this research, a novel approach for seed quality prediction is presented. In the proposed approach two advanced optical imaging techniques based on chlorophyll fluorescence and chemometric-based multispectral imaging were employed. The chemometrics encompassed principal component analysis (PCA) and quadratic discrimination analysis (QDA). Among plants that are relevant as both crops and scientific models, tomato, and carrot were selected for the experiment. We compared the optical imaging techniques to the traditional analytical methods used for quality characterization of commercial seedlots. Results showed that chlorophyll fluorescence-based technology is feasible to discriminate cultivars and to identify seedlots with lower physiological potential. The exploratory analysis of multispectral imaging data using a non-supervised approach (two-component PCA) allowed the characterization of differences between carrot cultivars, but not for tomato cultivars. A Random Forest (RF) classifier based on Gini importance was applied to multispectral data and it revealed the most meaningful bandwidths from 19 wavelengths for seed quality characterization. In order to validate the RF model, we selected the five most important wavelengths to be applied in a QDA-based model, and the model reached high accuracy to classify lots with high-and low-vigor seeds, with a correct classification from 86 to 95% in tomato and from 88 to 97% in carrot for validation set. Further analysis showed that low quality seeds resulted in seedlings with altered photosynthetic capacity and chlorophyll content. In conclusion, both chlorophyll fluorescence and chemometrics-based multispectral imaging can be applied as reliable proxies of the physiological potential in tomato and carrot seeds. From the practical point of view, such techniques/methodologies can be potentially used for screening low quality seeds in food and agricultural industries.

Galletti Patrícia A, Carvalho Marcia E A, Hirai Welinton Y, Brancaglioni Vivian A, Arthur Valter, Barboza da Silva Clíssia


chemometrics, chlorophyll fluorescence, machine learning, multispectral imaging, photosynthesis, random forest, seed physiological potential, seedlots