Model-assisted phenotyping by digital images in papaya breeding program


Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.)




ABSTRACT Manual phenotyping for papaya Carica papaya (L) breeding purposes limits the evaluation of a great number of plants and hampers selection of superior genotypes. This study aimed to validate two methodologies for the phenotyping of morpho-agronomic plant traits using image analysis and fruit traits through image processing. In plants of the ‘THB’ variety and ‘UENF/Caliman-01’ hybrid two images (A and B) were analyzed to estimate commercial and irregularly shaped fruits. Image A was also used in the estimation of plant height, stem diameter and the first fruit insertion height. In ‘THB’ fruits, largest and smallest diameters, length, and volume were estimated by using a caliper and image processing (IP). Volume was obtained by water column displacement (WCD) and by the expression of ellipsoid approximation (EA). Correlations above 0.85 between manual and image measurements were obtained for all traits. The averages of the morpho-agronomic traits, estimated by using images, were similar when compared to the averages measured manually. In addition, the errors of the proposed methodologies were low compared to manual phenotyping. Bland-Altman's approach indicated agreement between the volume estimated by WCD and EA using caliper and IP. The strong association obtained between volume and fruit weight suggests the use of regression to estimate this trait. Thus, the expectation is that image-based phenotyping can be used to expand the experiments, thereby maintaining accuracy and providing greater genetic gains in the selection of superior genotypes.

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