Researchers of Brazil and United Kingdom have developed a system that identifies early diseases in wheat. The work, which involves the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), uses image sensors to quantify different reactions of infected plants by pathogens.
The new techniques of phenotyping the use of infrared cameras capture non-visible symptoms that help to identify early diseases and distinguish precisely the susceptible plants more tolerant or resistant. “Other portable equipment, such as porometer and spectrometer, also can be applied to measure stress levels of infected plants,” reveals Embrapa.
The leaf spots, which can compromise up to 40% of product, are the initial focus of the work. “The project has the goal of applying new techniques of phenotyping aiming greater precision and automation in the evaluation of wheat diseases,” explains researcher Flávio Santana, project leader at Embrapa Trigo (wheat section of Embrapa).
As a first result of the partnership, parental genotypes were characterized of a wheat population called “MAGIC population” for resistance to the Yellow Leaf Spot were characterized. The interest in characterizing such population is the fact that is possible to find new resistant genes to the disease.
"We Brazilians have the expertise to circumvent the weather adversities, while the UK researchers are the pioneers in generating scientific knowledge about wheat plant health and have the cutting-edge technology to seek solution of problems with plagues and diseases in winter cereals,” explains researcher Paulo Pereira.
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