We report on the use of leaf diffuse reflectance spectroscopy for plant disease detection. A smartphone-operated, compact diffused reflectance spectrophotometer is used for field collection of leaf diffuse reflectance spectra to enable pre-symptomatic detection of the progression of potato late blight disease post inoculation with oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Neural-network-based analysis predicts infection with >96% accuracy, only 24 h after inoculation with the pathogen, and nine days before visual late blight symptoms appear. Our study demonstrates the potential of using portable optical spectroscopy in tandem with machine learning analysis for early diagnosis of plant diseases.
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