Traditional seed phenotyping is carried out by measuring morphological properties as seen from the outside. The use of infrared (IR) spectroscopy allows us to look inside the seed and provide data on its composition. How is this achieved?
The spectra measured in IR spectroscopy result from the photon absorption characteristics of molecules exposed to electromagnetic radiation. Molecules are not static, but vibrate, creating a specific pattern of stretching and deformation vibrations. For this reason, IR spectroscopy is sometimes called vibrational spectroscopy (for more details see Borisjuk et al., New Phytologist 2023).
In simple terms, IR spectroscopy measures the interaction of light with matter. It provides spectra, which in turn can provide reliable data on seed composition. It can be used to quantify the amount of starch, protein or oil. Importantly, it can also provide a chemical fingerprint that can be used for other purposes such as seed quality assessment or seed sorting. The list of possibilities is long. If you have potential applications, we can help you in every way, from advice to sample processing using state-of-the-art equipment.
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