Automatic characterisation of dye decolourisation in fungal strains using expert, traditional, and deep features

  • Marina Arredondo-Santoyo
  • César Domínguez
  • Jónathan HerasEmail author
  • Eloy Mata
  • Vico Pascual
  • Mª Soledad Vázquez-Garcidueñas
  • Gerardo Vázquez-MarrufoEmail author
Methodologies and Application


Fungi have diverse biotechnological applications in, among others, agriculture, bioenergy generation, or remediation of polluted soil and water. In this context, culture media based on colour change in response to degradation of dyes are particularly relevant, but measuring dye decolourisation of fungal strains mainly relies on a visual and semiquantitative classification of colour intensity changes. Such a classification is a subjective, time-consuming, and difficult to reproduce process. In order to deal with these problems, we have performed a systematic evaluation of different image-classification approaches considering ad hoc expert features, traditional computer vision features, and transfer-learning features obtained from deep neural networks. Our results favour the transfer learning approach reaching an accuracy of 96.5% in the evaluated dataset. In this paper, we provide the first, at least up to the best of our knowledge, method to automatically characterise dye decolourisation level of fungal strains from images of inoculated plates.


Fungal decolourisation Image classification Computer vision Deep learning Transfer learning 



This work was partially supported by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad [MTM2014-54151-P, MTM2017-88804-P], and Agencia de Desarrollo Económico de La Rioja [2017-I-IDD-00018].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Multidisciplinary Center of Biotechnology Studies (CMEB), Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de HidalgoMoreliaMexico
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceUniversity of La RiojaLogroñoSpain
  3. 3.Division of Postgraduate Studies, Faculty of Medical and Biological Sciences “Dr. Ignacio Chávez”Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de HidalgoMoreliaMexico

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