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Advances in the Interpretation of Tomographic Images as an Early Detection Method of Oil Palm Affected by Basal Stem Rot in Colombia

Arango, M., Martínez, G., Torres, G.
Plant disease 2016 v.100 no.8 pp. 1559-1563
Elaeis guineensis, developmental stages, disease control, disease incidence, early diagnosis, impedance, stem rot, tomography, Colombia, South East Asia
Basal stem rot, one of the most important diseases of oil palm in Southeast Asia, has also been identified in Colombia. The increase in disease incidence in the last decade has attracted the attention of producers and researchers. In the search for a procedure that allows for the early identification of diseased palm, Cenipalma evaluated the use of electrical impedance tomography to identify the different stages of development of basal stem rot. The tomograms were compared with transversal sections of healthy and diseased oil palm trees. Following Cenipalma’s preliminary studies on early diagnosis of basal stem rot with tomography, the present study improved upon the technique by analyzing the tomograms of 209 diseased palm trees (confirmed by symptomatology), 346 asymptomatic palm trees, and 132 healthy palm trees. The minimum and maximum electric impedance values as well as the ratio between these values was recorded. The range of 1 to 95 Ω was used to represent the internal damage. The ratios averaged 5.1 for diseased, 1.9 for asymptomatic, and 1.5 for healthy palm trees. With the range and the ratio criteria established, it was possible to identify the disease in 100% of asymptomatic sampled palm trees. This study demonstrated that electrical impedance tomography is a powerful tool for early detection of basal stem rot, which can be used to establish an early disease management program.