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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Spectroscopic Measurement of Biological Materials

Location: Engineering and Wind Erosion Research Unit

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Develop technology and procedures to measure characteristics of plants, grain, flour, dough, final products, and other biological materials.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Rapid analytical technology will be developed or evaluated for their application to measuring traits of agricultural materials. This may include NIRS, FTIR, FTNIR, raman spectroscopy, laser-based sensors, and microscopic imaging for solving problems related to selecting single kernels for breeding programs, studying disease spread and resistance, and measuring other biological traits related for food and feed safety.


3.Progress Report:

Using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) we have demonstrated that deoxynivalenol (DON) is mostly concentrated in the bran and germ of Fusarium infected wheat kernels and that DON in such kernels interact with the infrared light resulting in different infrared absorption patterns. Therefore, DON present in single kernels can also influence near infra-red (NIR) light absorption. This confirms the validity of using NIR spectroscopy to assess Fusarium damage and DON levels in single wheat kernels. We have demonstrated that single kernel DON analysis by our single-kernel NIR instrument can be extended to estimate bulk DON levels in small grain samples as well as to study the DON distribution among all kernels. This will allow plant breeders to comprehensively evaluate wheat germplasm for Fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance levels. Further it will allow us to probe into FHB resistance mechanisms while retaining kernels for further generation advancement. Our FTNIR studies with bulk grain samples from scab nursery trials showed that bulk DON and moisture levels of grain samples can be estimated rapidly.

Peiris, K. H. S., W. W. Bockus and F. E. Dowell 2012. Infrared Spectral Properties of Germ, Pericarp, and Endosperm Sections of Sound Wheat Kernels and Those Damaged by Fusarium graminearum. Applied Spectroscopy 66(9): 1053-1060.

Hernandez Nopsa, J. F., Baenziger, P. S., Eskridge, K. M., Peiris, K. H. S., Dowell, F. E., Harris, S. D., and Wegulo, S. N. 2012. Differential accumulation of deoxynivalenol in two winter wheat cultivars varying in FHB phenotype response under field conditions. Can. J. Plant Pathol. 34:380-389.

Wegulo, S. N., Bockus, W. W., Hernandez Nopsa, J. F., Peiris, K. H. S., and Dowell, F. E. 2013. Integration of fungicide application and cultivar resistance to manage Fusarium head blight in wheat. Pages 35-54 in: Fungicides - Showcases of Integrated Plant Disease Management from Around the World. M. Nita, Ed. InTech, Rijeka, Croatia.

K. H. S. Peiris, Y. Dong, W. W. Bockus and F. E. Dowell 2012. Single Kernel Near-Infrared Analysis Technique for Comprehensive Evaluation of Wheat Kernel Samples for Fusarium Head Blight Resistance. Submitted to Cereal Chemistry.


Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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