Species discrimination of plant roots by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy

Project summary

Differentiation of pea and oat roots in field experiments
Pea (Pisum sativum, cultivar Santana) and oat (Avena sativa, cultivar KWS Contender) were cultivated in a field experiment both as monoculture and as intercropping at the experimental research site Reinshof, Göttingen in 2013 and 2014. Two profile-walls per variable and year were established. Root segments were taken individually along the profile-wall and were measured directly in the field with the mobile FTIR spectrometer. The root segments were dried and re-measured again with the FTIR spectrometer. The species identification was carried out and thereby the root distribution patterns could be illustrated.

Differentiation of distant related and closer related species
In greenhouse experiments in 2013, six pea (Pisum sativum ssp. sativum) and five oat (Avena sativa) cultivars as distant related species as well as seven maize (Zea mays) varieties and five proveniences of barnyard grass (Echinochloa crus-galli) as closer related species were investigated. Root segments were harvested, dried and measured with the FTIR-spectrometer. Species differentiation was feasible for the distant related species as well as for the closer related species. Besides the species differentiation, the cultivars, varieties and proveniences of the single species could be differentiated.


Legner N, Meinen C and Rauber R (2018) Root Differentiation of Agricultural Plant Cultivars and Proveniences Using FTIR Spectroscopy. Front. Plant Sci. 9:748. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.00748

Person in charge

Dr. Nicole Legner
Dr. Catharina Meinen
Prof. Dr. Rolf Rauber

Project duration

01.11.2012 – 31.03.2015

Project funding

German Research Foundation (DFG)
RA 378/7-1