The AfricaYam project has standardized the use of “Detached Leaf Assay (DLA)” and the “Leaf Doctor” app for high-throughput phenotyping of Water Yam (Dioscorea alata) for anthracnose disease resistance.
Anthracnose is serious disease caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. The fungal infection results in necrotic spots, blight and dieback, leading to serious yield losses and in worst case, death of the plant. Breeding for anthracnose resistance is one of the targets for the AfricaYam Project and involves screening of several landraces and hundreds of breeding lines. Phenotyping system based on DLA and Leaf Doctor improves the throughput and accuracy, and facilitates rapid selection of promising lines for further evaluation.
Leaf Doctor is a quantitative tool for accurate assessment of percentage symptomatic tissue area of a diseased leaf based on the image analysis. The App helps to distinguish healthy from the diseased based on the artificial intelligence and machine learning. Yam Disease Phenotyping Specialist, Dr Kolade Olufisayo, who standardized the method, said that the application is necessary for an accurate determination of disease severity on the leaves and to eliminate rater bias during conventional visual scoring.
According to Dr Kolade, the Leaf Doctor app is available on Android and iOS devices and free for download and use. Dr Lava Kumar, Phenotyping Component Lead of the AfricaYam project, added that AfricaYam partners were trained in application of DLA and Leaf Doctor for phenotyping D. alata for anthracnose resistance screening. This advancement helps harmonization of phenotyping method across the project countries and makes it easy to compare results and performance of genotypes.
For more information, contact: Lava Kumar (L.firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kolade Olufisayo (email@example.com)