Natural Resources, School of


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Das Choudhury S, Guadagno CR, Bashyam S, Mazis A, Ewers BE, Samal A and Awada T (2024) Stress phenotyping analysis leveraging autofluorescence image sequences with machine learning. Front. Plant Sci. 15:1353110. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2024.1353110


Open access.


Background: Autofluorescence-based imaging has the potential to nondestructively characterize the biochemical and physiological properties of plants regulated by genotypes using optical properties of the tissue. A comparative study of stress tolerant and stress susceptible genotypes of Brassica rapa with respect to newly introduced stress-based phenotypes using machine learning techniques will contribute to the significant advancement of autofluorescence-based plant phenotyping research.

Methods: Autofluorescence spectral images have been used to design a stress detection classifier with two classes, stressed and non-stressed, using machine learning algorithms. The benchmark dataset consisted of time-series image sequences from three Brassica rapa genotypes (CC, R500, and VT), extreme in their morphological and physiological traits captured at the high-throughput plant phenotyping facility at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA. We developed a set of machine learning-based classification models to detect the percentage of stressed tissue derived from plant images and identified the best classifier. From the analysis of the autofluorescence images, two novel stressbased image phenotypes were computed to determine the temporal variation in stressed tissue under progressive drought across different genotypes, i.e., the average percentage stress and the moving average percentage stress.

Results: The study demonstrated that both the computed phenotypes consistently discriminated against stressed versus non-stressed tissue, with oilseed type (R500) being less prone to drought stress relative to the other two Brassica rapa genotypes (CC and VT).