with the collaboration of Iranian Society of Mechanical Engineers (ISME)

Document Type : Research Article-en


1 Agricultural Engineering Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran

2 Research Department of Plant Pathology, Iranian Research Institute of Plant Protection, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Physics, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

4 MSc. in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System, Vanda Atlas Technologists Company, Karaj, Iran


Early diagnosis of plant diseases before the occurrence of symptoms can reduce the loss of the yield and increase the quality of agricultural crops. It also reduces the consumption of pesticides, environmental risks, and the cost of production. For this reason, the objectives of the present study were non-destructive diagnosis of early blight of tomato plant and discrimination of the most important agents of early blight (A. solani and A. alternate) in the primary stages of incidence of the disease before appearing visual symptoms using Vis-NIR spectroscopy (400-900 nm). The spectral data were acquired from the leaves of the plants infected with A. solani and A. alternate, 48 hours, 72 hours, 96 hours, and 120 hours after inoculation. To develop the recognition model based on the spectral data, principal components analysis (PCA) coupled with artificial neural network (ANN) was used. The results showed that the PCA-ANN model could diagnose the infected plants and pathogen species with accuracy of 93-100% for test set samples. In 96 hours after inoculation, in addition to the simpler model (8 PCs and 3 neurons in hidden layer), accuracy of 100% was obtained. At all times after inoculation, there was no error in diagnosis of the plants infected with A. solani that is more pathogenic and aggressive than other species, from healthy plants. Early blight in tomato plant and the type of pathogen before visual symptoms, without any plant sample preparation, could be diagnosed non-destructively (with accuracy of 93-100%) using Vis-NIR (400-900 nm) spectroscopy coupled with PCA-ANN. It was concluded that this technology could be used for rapid, low-cost, and early diagnosis of this disease in tomato plant instead of time-consuming, expensive, and destructive laboratory methods.


Open Access

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