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Title: Near-infrared versus visual sorting of Fusarium-damaged kernels in winter wheat

item Dowell, Floyd

Submitted to: Canadian Journal of Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/29/2008
Publication Date: 11/1/2008
Citation: Wegulo, S.N., Dowell, F.E. 2008. Near-infrared versus visual sorting of Fusarium-damaged kernels in winter wheat. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 88: 1087-1089.

Interpretive Summary: Fusarium head blight (FHB), or scab, is a destructive disease of wheat. FHB causes yield reductions of up to 50% and crop losses in the US have exceeded $1 billion in some years. In addition, FHB can produce the toxin deoxynivalenol which must be below FDA guidelines. Visible detection of FHB is laborious and subjective and we evaluated the use of automated near-infrared (NIR) technology to detect FHB. Results showed that visual detection was strongly correlated to NIR detection and that the NIR method was more repeatable. This technology should help the grain industry more consistently detect FHB and thus improve the safety of the US food supply. The technology can also be used to rapidly screen new wheat lines for FHB resistance.

Technical Abstract: Fusarium head blight of wheat, caused by Fusarium graminearum, often results in shriveled and/or discolored kernels referred to as Fusarium-damaged kernels (FDK). FDK is one of the major grain grading factors and therefore is routinely determined for purposes of quality assurance. Determination of FDK usually is done visually. Visual sorting can be laborious and is subject to inconsistencies resulting from variability in intra-rater repeatability and/or inter-rater reliability. The ability of a single-kernel near-infrared (SKNIR) system to detect FDK was evaluated by comparing FDK sorted by the system to FDK sorted visually. Visual sorting was strongly correlated with sorting by the SKNIR system (0.82 less than or equal to r less than or equal to 0.91); however, the SKNIR system was more repeatable.