Submitted to: Biopolymers
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/30/2005
Publication Date: 1/16/2006
Citation: Baranski, R., Baranska, M., Schulz, H., Simon, P.W., Nothnagel, T. 2006. Single seed Raman measurements allow taxonomical discrimination of Apiaceae accessions collected in gene banks. Biopolymers. 81:497-505. Interpretive Summary: Plant seeds vary widely in their appearance and their chemical makeup. This variation can make it difficult to be certain if two similar seeds will grow into plants of the same species, or two different species. In this study, we used a new analytical technique, FT-Raman spectroscopy, to evaluate a range of seeds from plants in the carrot family. This technique allowed us to correctly predict what species of plant produced the seeds we evaluated with nearly no error. This information is important for plant germplasm collections that maintain large and diverse seed collections. It is also useful for seed companies and farmers to help them sort weed seeds out of commercial seed production.
Technical Abstract: FT-Raman spectroscopy was applied for a non-destructive analysis of single seeds (fruit mericarps) of 36 accessions belonging to various species of the Apiaceae family. Main seed components like fatty acids, polysaccharides, proteins and lignin were identified based on the obtained Raman spectra. Variation at the species and genus level was related to differences observed between spectra. The application of cluster analysis discriminated among most of the species evaluated and grouped them according to their taxonomical classification. The spectroscopically analyzed seeds germinated and developed into normal seedlings to demonstrate the additional advantage that Raman spectroscopy is non-destructive and can be applied to living seed without harm. These results indicate that Raman spectroscopy is a valuable tool for the rational evaluation and management of genetic resources in ex situ seed collections by providing useful information for taxonomical validation of the accessions.