Early Detection of Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) Downy Mildew (Peronospora) and Diurnal Variations Using Thermal Imaging

Bar Cohen, Yael Edan, Asher Levi, Victor Alchanatis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Agricultural industry is facing a serious threat from plant diseases that cause production and economic losses. Early information on disease development can improve disease control using suitable management strategies. This study sought to detect downy mildew (Peronospora) on grapevine (Vitis vinifera) leaves at early stages of development using thermal imaging technology and to determine the best time during the day for image acquisition. In controlled experiments, 1587 thermal images of grapevines grown in a greenhouse were acquired around midday, before inoculation, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 days after an inoculation. In addition, images of healthy and infected leaves were acquired at seven different times during the day between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Leaves were segmented using the active contour algorithm. Twelve features were derived from the leaf mask and from meteorological measurements. Stepwise logistic regression revealed five significant features used in five classification models. Performance was evaluated using K-folds cross-validation. The support vector machine model produced the best classification accuracy of 81.6%, F1 score of 77.5% and area under the curve (AUC) of 0.874. Acquiring images in the morning between 10:40 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. resulted in 80.7% accuracy, 80.5% F1 score, and 0.895 AUC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3585
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2022


  • biotic stress
  • classification
  • disease detection
  • fungal infection
  • pre-symptomatic diagnosis
  • precision agriculture
  • viticulture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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