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UAV remote sensing phenotyping of wheat collection for response to water stress and yield prediction using machine learning

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-16, 04:12 authored by Vikas SharmaVikas Sharma, E Honkavaara, Matthew HaydenMatthew Hayden, Surya KantSurya Kant
Water stress is a significant challenge for global food production. Rainfall pattern is becoming unpredictable due to climate change that causes unprecedent water stress conditions in cereals production including wheat which is one of the important staple food crops. To sustain wheat production under water limiting conditions, there is an urgent need to develop drought-tolerant wheat varieties. For this, screening large numbers of wheat genotype for traits related to growth and yield under water stressed conditions is crucial. In this study, we deployed high-throughput phenotyping approaches, including uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV)-based multispectral imaging, advanced machine and deep learning regression models. Two separate field experiments, irrigated and rainfed, were conducted comprising 553 wheat genotypes, and collected dataset for traits such as plant height, phenology, grain yield, and timeseries multispectral imaging. UAV-multispectral imagery derived plant height measurements showed a high correlation (R2=0.75) with manual measurements. Vegetation indices derived from multispectral data differentiated growth pattern of genotypes under rainfed and irrigated conditions and were used in yield prediction modeling. Wheat genotypes were effectively ranked, and their response differentiated for water stress tolerance based on yield index, stress susceptibility index, and yield loss%. Importantly, yield prediction in genotypes was computed using four machine learning regression algorithms i.e., linear regression, support vector machine, random forest, and deep learning H2O-3, where H2O-3 was the most accurate model with R2=0.80. Results show that multispectral-driven traits combined with machine learning models effectively phenotyped large wheat population and such approaches can be integrated in crop breeding program to develop varieties tolerant to water stress.


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Plant Stress



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© 2024 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license (