Final Oral Examination for the Degree of Master of Science of Ryan Costello


ANNOUNCEMENT: Interested Members of the University Community are invited to attend the Final Oral Examination for the Degree of Master of Science of

Ryan Costello

Of the Department of Plant Agriculture

On Monday, April 12 at 2:00 PM

Via Zoom Video Conferencing:


Meeting ID: 952 9913 0239

Passcode: 681005


Thesis Title: High-Throughput Phenotyping of Winter Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Survival and Plant Height

Advisory Committee                                         Examination Committee

Dr. Elizabeth Lee, Co-advisor                            Dr. David Wolyn, Chair

Dr. John Sulik, Co-advisor                                 Dr. Elizabeth Lee

Dr. Hugh Earl                                                   Dr. John Sulik

                                                                      Dr. Eric Lyons




Proximal phenotyping of plant materials in the field takes immense time and resource commitments in breeding programs. Objectives of this research were to: 1) use spectral indices (SI) derived from unmanned aerial system (UAS) data to calculate a vegetation fraction used as a proxy for visual winter survival, 2) determine accuracy of SIs integrated over-time in identifying high-yielding wheat plots, 3) use UAS spectral data to build a digital surface model to extract plant height. Yield trials were planted over two years and the agronomic traits winter survival, plant height, grain yield, and growth stage were recorded. Our results indicated that survival could be accurately estimated using SIs and unsupervised image classification, SIs showed moderate ability to select the top yielding genotypes, and plant height can be accurately estimated from a single UAS flight. UAS derived phenotypic estimates of winter survival and plant height can replace manual measurements.