Identifying Optimal Wavelengths as Disease Signatures Using Hyperspectral Sensor and Machine Learning


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Hyperspectral sensors combined with machine learning are increasingly utilized in agricultural crop systems for diverse applications, including plant disease detection. This study was designed to identify the most important wavelengths to discriminate between healthy and diseased peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) plants infected with Athelia rolfsii, the causal agent of peanut stem rot, using in-situ spectroscopy and machine learning. In greenhouse experiments, daily measurements were conducted to inspect disease symptoms visually and to collect spectral reflectance of peanut leaves on lateral stems of plants mock-inoculated and inoculated with A. rolfsii. Spectrum files were categorized into five classes based on foliar wilting symptoms. Five feature selection methods were compared to select the top 10 ranked wavelengths with and without a custom minimum distance of 20 nm. Recursive feature elimination methods outperformed the chi-square and SelectFromModel methods. Adding the minimum distance of 20 nm into the top selected wavelengths improved classification performance. Wavelengths of 501–505, 690–694, 763 and 884 nm were repeatedly selected by two or more feature selection methods. These selected wavelengths can be applied in designing optical sensors for automated stem rot detection in peanut fields. The machine-learning-based methodology can be adapted to identify spectral signatures of disease in other plant-pathogen systems.



soilborne diseases, peanut stem rot, Athelia rolfsii, Sclerotium rolfsii, spectroscopy, random forest, support vector machine, recursive feature elimination, feature selection, hyperspectral band selection


Wei, X.; Johnson, M.A.; Langston, D.B., Jr.; Mehl, H.L.; Li, S. Identifying Optimal Wavelengths as Disease Signatures Using Hyperspectral Sensor and Machine Learning. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2833.