14 October 2015 RGB picture vegetation indexes for High-Throughput Phenotyping Platforms (HTPPs)
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Extreme and abnormal weather events, as well as the more gradual meteorological changes associated with climate change, often coincide with not only increased abiotic risks (such as increases in temperature and decreases in precipitation), but also increased biotic risks due to environmental conditions that favor the rapid spread of crop pests and diseases. Durum wheat is by extension the most cultivated cereal in the south and east margins of the Mediterranean Basin. It is of strategic importance for Mediterranean agriculture to develop new varieties of durum wheat with greater production potential, better adaptation to increasingly adverse environmental conditions (drought) and better grain quality. Similarly, maize is the top staple crop for low-income populations in Sub-Saharan Africa and is currently suffering from the appearance of new diseases, which, together with increased abiotic stresses from climate change, are challenging the very sustainability of African societies. Current constraints in field phenotyping remain a major bottleneck for future breeding advances, but RGB-based High-Throughput Phenotyping Platforms (HTPPs) have shown promise for rapidly developing both disease-resistant and weather-resilient crops. RGB cameras have proven costeffective in studies assessing the effect of abiotic stresses, but have yet to be fully exploited to phenotype disease resistance. Recent analyses of durum wheat in Spain have shown RGB vegetation indexes to outperform multispectral indexes such as NDVI consistently in disease and yield prediction. Towards HTTP development for breeding maize disease resistance, some of the same RGB picture vegetation indexes outperformed NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), with R2 values up to 0.65, compared to 0.56 for NDVI. . Specifically, hue, a*, u*, and Green Area (GA), as produced by FIJI and BreedPix open source software, performed similar to or better than NDVI in predicting yield and disease severity conditions for wheat and maize. Results using UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) have produced similar results demonstrating the robust strengths, and limitations, of the more cost-effective RGB picture indexes.
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Shawn C. Kefauver, Shawn C. Kefauver, George El-Haddad, George El-Haddad, Omar Vergara-Diaz, Omar Vergara-Diaz, José Luis Araus, José Luis Araus, } "RGB picture vegetation indexes for High-Throughput Phenotyping Platforms (HTPPs)", Proc. SPIE 9637, Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology XVII, 96370J (14 October 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2195235; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2195235

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