Insect vector feeding recognized by machine learning

In the study the authors we investigated feeding of the Asian citrus psyllid (pictured above), a hemipteran vector of the pathogen causing citrus greening disease. Credit: PROMark Yokoyama / Flickr (CCBY) Scientists have used machine learning algorithms to teach computers to recognize the insect feeding patterns involved in pathogen transmission. The study, published in PLOS Computational Biology, also uncovers plant traits that might lead to the disruption of pathogen transmission and enable advances in agriculture, livestock and human health. Insects that feed by ingesting plant and animal fluids cause devastating damage to humans, livestock, and agriculture worldwide, primarily by transmitting pathogens of plants and animals. These insect vectors can acquire and transmit pathogens causing infectious diseases such as citrus greening through probing on host tissues and ingesting host fluids. The…

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