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In Plant phenomics (Washington, D.C.)

Phenomics technologies allow quantitative assessment of phenotypes across a larger number of plant genotypes compared to traditional phenotyping approaches. The utilization of such technologies has enabled the generation of multidimensional plant traits creating big datasets. However, to harness the power of phenomics technologies, more sophisticated data analysis methods are required. In this study, Aphanomyces root rot (ARR) resistance in 547 lentil accessions and lines was evaluated using Red-Green-Blue (RGB) images of roots. We created a dataset of 6,460 root images that were annotated by a plant breeder based on the disease severity. Two approaches, generalized linear model with elastic net regularization (EN) and convolutional neural network (CNN), were developed to classify disease resistance categories into three classes: resistant, partially resistant, and susceptible. The results indicated that the selected image features using EN models were able to classify three disease categories with an accuracy of up to 0.91 ± 0.004 (0.96 ± 0.005 resistant, 0.82 ± 0.009 partially resistant, and 0.92 ± 0.007 susceptible) compared to CNN with an accuracy of about 0.84 ± 0.009 (0.96 ± 0.008 resistant, 0.68 ± 0.026 partially resistant, and 0.83 ± 0.015 susceptible). The resistant class was accurately detected using both classification methods. However, partially resistant class was challenging to detect as the features (data) of the partially resistant class often overlapped with those of resistant and susceptible classes. Collectively, the findings provided insights on the use of phenomics techniques and machine learning approaches to provide quantitative measures of ARR resistance in lentil.

Marzougui Afef, Ma Yu, McGee Rebecca J, Khot Lav R, Sankaran Sindhuja

2020