Electrical Impedance Methods for Clubroot Detection

UoM administered thesis: Master of Philosophy

  • Authors:
  • Diego Corona López


Current plant pathogen methodologies focus on looking for disease symptoms in the canopy region. As a result, there has been a limited development in researching subsoil methods that could assess a plant's health. Moreover, considering that between 7% to 15% of crop losses in major crops (e.g. wheat, rice, etc.) is due to fungi and soil-borne bacteria, it is difficult to ignore the benefits that subsoil studies could bring to agriculture. In particular, with the ongoing popularity of Brassica species (e.g. cabbage, broccoli, oilseed rape) amongst farmers, the virus known as Plasmodiophora brassicae Woronin (clubroot causative agent) has spread across the globe. Therefore, the early detection of the infection could help farmers mitigate the problems of this disease. The present thesis project proposes two Electrical Impedance methods to detect clubroot: Electrical Impedance Tomography and Spectroscopy. These technologies present two main advantages: low cost and fast data acquisition. This dissertation explores and discusses the basics of such methodologies. It examines their feasibility through simulations and experimentation. Three experiments are proposed to explore such topics: a control experiment, a clubroot trial, and a detection experiment where plants were randomly infected. The results show the capabilities and limitations of these techniques, as well as the importance of a proper soil preparation protocol. Nonetheless, the outcomes are promising, portraying both technologies as clubroot detection methods.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2017