Ground penetrating radar: a case study for estimating root bulking rate in cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz). Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Understanding root traits is a necessary research front for selection of favorable genotypes or cultivation practices. Root and tuber crops having most of their economic potential stored below ground are favorable candidates for such studies. The ability to image and quantify subsurface root structure would allow breeders to classify root traits for rapid selection and allow agronomist the ability to derive effective cultivation practices. In spite of the huge role of Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz), for food security and industrial uses, little progress has been made in understanding the onset and rate of the root-bulking process and the factors that influence it. The objective of this research was to determine the capability of ground penetrating radar (GPR) to predict root-bulking rates through the detection of total root biomass during its growth cycle. Our research provides the first application of GPR for detecting below ground biomass in cassava. RESULTS: Through an empirical study, linear regressions were derived to model cassava bulking rates. The linear equations derived suggest that GPR is a suitable measure of root biomass (r=.79). The regression analysis developed accounts for 63% of the variability in cassava biomass below ground. When modeling is performed at the variety level, it is evident that the variety models for SM 1219-9 and TMS 60444 outperform the HMC-1 variety model (r2=.77, .63 and .51 respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Using current modeling methods, it is possible to predict below ground biomass and estimate root bulking rates for selection of early root bulking in cassava. Results of this approach suggested that the general model was over predicting at early growth stages but became more precise in later root development.

published proceedings

  • Plant Methods

altmetric score

  • 11.58

author list (cited authors)

  • Delgado, A., Hays, D. B., Bruton, R. K., Ceballos, H., Novo, A., Boi, E., & Selvaraj, M. G.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Delgado, Alfredo||Hays, Dirk B||Bruton, Richard K||Ceballos, HernĂ¡n||Novo, Alexandre||Boi, Enrico||Selvaraj, Michael Gomez

publication date

  • December 2017