Current issue: 53(4)
The genus Betula L. is composed of several species, which are difficult to distinguish in the field on the basis of morphological traits. The aim of this study was to evaluate the taxonomic importance of using visible + near infrared (Vis + NIR) spectra of single seeds for differentiating Betula pendula Roth and Betula pubescens Ehrh. Seeds from several families (controlled crossings of known parent trees) of each species were used and Vis + NIR reflectance spectra were obtained from single seeds. Multivariate discriminant models were developed by Orthogonal Projections to Latent Structures – Discriminant Analysis (OPLS-DA). The OPLS-DA model fitted on Vis + NIR spectra recognized B. pubescens with 100% classification accuracy while the prediction accuracy of class membership for B. pendula was 99%. However, the discriminant models fitted on NIR spectra alone resulted in 100% classification accuracies for both species. Absorption bands accounted for distinguishing between birch species were attributed to differences in color and chemical composition, presumably polysaccharides, proteins and fatty acids, of the seeds. In conclusion, the results demonstrate the feasibility of NIR spectroscopy as taxonomic tool for classification of species that have morphological resemblance.
Larix sibirica Ledeb. is one of the promising timber species for planting in the boreal ecosystem; but poor seed lot quality is the major hurdle for production of sufficient quantity of planting stocks. Here, we evaluated the potential of Near Infrared (NIR) Spectroscopy for sorting viable and non-viable seeds, as the conventional sorting technique is inefficient. NIR reflectance spectra were collected from single seeds, and discriminant models were developed with Orthogonal Projections to Latent Structure – Discriminant Analysis (OPLS-DA). The computed model predicted the class membership of filled-viable, empty and petrified seeds in the test set with 98%, 82% and 87% accuracy, respectively. When two-class OPLS-DA model was fitted to discriminate viable and non-viable (empty and petrified seeds combined), the predicted class membership of test set samples was 100% for both classes. The origins of spectral differences between non-viable (petrified and empty) and viable seeds were attributed to differences in seed moisture content and storage reserves. In conclusion, the result provides evidence that NIR spectroscopy is a powerful non-destructive method for sorting non-viable seeds of Larix sibirica; thus efforts should be made to develop on-line sorting system for large-scale seed handling.
A large quantity of non-viable (empty, insect-attacked and shriveled) seeds of Juniperus polycarpos (K. Koch) is often encountered during seed collection, which should be removed from the seed lots to ensure precision sowing in the nursery or out in the field. The aims of this study were to evaluate different modelling approaches and to examine the sensitivity of the change in detection system (Silicon-detector in the shorter vis-a-vis InGsAs-detector in the longer NIR regions) for discriminating non-viable seeds from viable seeds by Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. NIR reflectance spectra were collected from single seeds, and discriminant models were developed by Partial Least Squares – Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) and Orthogonal Projection to Latent Structures – Discriminant Analysis (OPLS-DA) using the entire or selected NIR regions. Both modelling approaches resulted in 98% and 100% classification accuracy for viable and non-viable seeds in the test set, respectively. However, OPLS-DA models were superb in terms of model parsimony and information quality. Modelling in the shorter and longer wavelength region also resulted in similar classification accuracy, suggesting that prediction of class membership is insensitive to change in the detection system. The origins of spectral differences between non-viable and viable seeds were attributed to differences in seed coat chemical composition, mainly terpenoids that were dominant in non-viable seeds and storage reserves in viable seeds. In conclusion, the results demonstrate that NIR spectroscopy has great potential as seed sorting technology to upgrade seed lot quality that ensures precision sowing.