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Comparison of Proximal Remote Sensing Devices for Estimating Eggplant response to Root-Knot Nematodes
1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 2 , 1, 2 , 1, 3 , * 1, 3
1  Master's degree in Environmental Agrobiology, Faculty of Biology, University from Barcelona, Avda. Diagonal 643, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
2  Department of Agri-Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Esteve Terradas 8, 08860 Castelldefels, Barcelona, Spain
3  Integrative Crop Ecophysiology Group, Plant Physiology Section, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Avda. Diagonal 643, 08028 Barcelona, Spain


Proximal remote sensing devices are becoming widely applied in field plant research to estimate biochemical (e.g. pigments or nitrogen) or agronomical (e.g. leaf area, biomass or yield) parameters as indicators of stress. Non-invasive characterization of plant responses allows screening larger populations faster than the conventional procedures that, besides being time-consuming, also implies the destruction of material or is subjective (e.g. visual ranking). This study deals with the comparison of a set of remote sensing devices at single-leaf and whole-canopy levels based on their performance in assessing how the eggplant and its yield respond to crafting as a way to tolerate root-knot nematodes. The results showed that whole-canopy measurements, as the Green Area (GA) derived from the RGB images (r=0.706 and p-value=0.001**) or the canopy temperature (r=-0.619 and p-value=0.005**), outperformed the single-leaf measurements, as the leaf chlorophyll content measured by the Dualex (r=0.422 and p-value=0.059) assessing yield. Moreover, other parameters as the time required to measure each sample or the cost of the sensors were taken into account in the discussion. Everything considered, indexes derived from the RGB images have demonstrated their robust potential for the assessment of crop status, being a low-cost alternative to other more expensive and time-consuming devices.

Keywords: Proximal Remote Sensing; Eggplants; Toot-Knot Nematodes; Single-leaf Measurements; Canopy Measurements; RGB images; Chlorophyll content; Leaf Temperature