Authors : Sylvain Jay, Alexis Comar, Rafael Benicio, Julie Beauvois, Dan Dutartre, Gaetan Daubige, Wenjuan Li, Jeremy Labrosse, Samuel Thomas, Nicolas Henry, Marie Weiss, F Baret
Selection of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) cultivars that are resistant to Cercospora Leaf Spot (CLS) disease is critical to increase yield. Such selection requires an automatic, fast, and objective method to assess CLS severity on thousands of cultivars in the field. For this purpose, we compare the use of submillimeter scale RGB imagery acquired from an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) under active illumination and centimeter scale multispectral imagery acquired from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) under passive illumination. Several variables are extracted from the images (spot density and spot size for UGV, green fraction for UGV and UAV) and related to visual scores assessed by an expert. Results show that spot density and green fraction are critical variables to assess low and high CLS severities, respectively, which emphasizes the importance of having submillimeter images to early detect CLS in field conditions. Genotype sensitivity to CLS can then be accurately retrieved based on time integrals of UGV- and UAV-derived scores. While UGV shows the best estimation performance, UAV can show accurate estimates of cultivar sensitivity if the data are properly acquired. Advantages and limitations of UGV, UAV, and visual scoring methods are finally discussed in the perspective of high-throughput phenotyping.