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Sensors 2011, 11(4), 3765-3779; doi:10.3390/s110403765

Hyperspectral and Chlorophyll Fluorescence Imaging to Analyse the Impact of Fusarium culmorum on the Photosynthetic Integrity of Infected Wheat Ears

1
Department of Engineering for Crop Production, Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim, D-14469 Potsdam, Germany
2
Department of Horticultural Engineering, Leibniz-Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim, D-14469 Potsdam, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 January 2011 / Revised: 23 March 2011 / Accepted: 25 March 2011 / Published: 28 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors in Agriculture and Forestry)
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Abstract

Head blight on wheat, caused by Fusarium spp., is a serious problem for both farmers and food production due to the concomitant production of highly toxic mycotoxins in infected cereals. For selective mycotoxin analyses, information about the on-field status of infestation would be helpful. Early symptom detection directly on ears, together with the corresponding geographic position, would be important for selective harvesting. Hence, the capabilities of various digital imaging methods to detect head blight disease on winter wheat were tested. Time series of images of healthy and artificially Fusarium-infected ears were recorded with a laboratory hyperspectral imaging system (wavelength range: 400 nm to 1,000 nm). Disease-specific spectral signatures were evaluated with an imaging software. Applying the ‘Spectral Angle Mapper’ method, healthy and infected ear tissue could be clearly classified. Simultaneously, chlorophyll fluorescence imaging of healthy and infected ears, and visual rating of the severity of disease was performed. Between six and eleven days after artificial inoculation, photosynthetic efficiency of infected compared to healthy ears decreased. The severity of disease highly correlated with photosynthetic efficiency. Above an infection limit of 5% severity of disease, chlorophyll fluorescence imaging reliably recognised infected ears. With this technique, differentiation of the severity of disease was successful in steps of 10%. Depending on the quality of chosen regions of interests, hyperspectral imaging readily detects head blight 7 d after inoculation up to a severity of disease of 50%. After beginning of ripening, healthy and diseased ears were hardly distinguishable with the evaluated methods.
Keywords: chlorophyll defect; fungal diseases; non-destructive; non-invasive sensor application; potential maximum photochemical efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm); Triticum aestivum L. ‘Taifun’ chlorophyll defect; fungal diseases; non-destructive; non-invasive sensor application; potential maximum photochemical efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm); Triticum aestivum L. ‘Taifun’
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Bauriegel, E.; Giebel, A.; Herppich, W.B. Hyperspectral and Chlorophyll Fluorescence Imaging to Analyse the Impact of Fusarium culmorum on the Photosynthetic Integrity of Infected Wheat Ears. Sensors 2011, 11, 3765-3779.

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