Multispectral imaging is an emerging non-destructive technology. In this work its potential for varietal discrimination and identification of tomato cultivars of Nepal was investigated. Two sample sets were used for the study, one with two parents and their crosses and other with eleven cultivars to study parents and offspring relationship and varietal identification respectively. Normalized canonical discriminant analysis (nCDA) and principal component analysis (PCA) were used to analyze and compare the results for parents and offspring study. Both the results showed clear discrimination of parents and offspring. nCDA was also used for pairwise discrimination of the eleven cultivars, which correctly discriminated upto 100% and only few pairs below 85%. Partial least square discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) was further used to classify all the cultivars. The model displayed an overall classification accuracy of 82%, which was further improved to 96% and 86% with stepwise PLS-DA models on high (seven) and poor (four) sensitivity cultivars, respectively. The stepwise PLS-DA models had satisfactory classification errors for cross-validation and prediction 7% and 7%, respectively. The results obtained provide an opportunity of using multispectral imaging technology as a primary tool in a scientific community for identification/discrimination of plant varieties in regard to genetic purity and plant variety protection/registration.
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