Current issue: 55(2)
Under compilation: 55(3)
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.