Current issue: 55(2)
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.