Combined FTIR and Raman analysis of pollen composition for studying plant adaptation to environmental changes

The projections of future climate changes and their impact on the development of plant species are limited by incomplete theoretical understanding and insufficient data to improve models. To determine climate-related plant adaptation it is imperative to improve plant phenotyping and monitoring of plant communities by a cost-efficient and rapid methodology. Pollen studies can provide insight into plant-climate interactions. The main goal of this project is to develop a reliable vibrational spectroscopic approach to classify and characterize pollen using comprehensive biochemical information. The approach will use Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy, both methods being joined in a complimentary fashion in a bilateral collaboration of the HU group with a group at UMB in Ås, Norway. Vibrational spectra of pollen contain specific bands of lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids and water, and even some minor biochemical constituents of pollen, such as carotenoids, can be successfully measured by these techniques. Therefore, the spectra serve as a fingerprint of pollens’ overall biochemical composition and thereby of their quality and physiological status. The collaborative project will address three major challenges in pollen spectroscopy identified so far. It will be used (i) to obtain high-quality infrared and Raman spectra at high spectral reproducibility, (ii) to achieve standardization in the FTIR methodology, and (iii) to establish a database for pollen spectra as a starting point for identification and classification tasks in such samples. Furthermore, a standardized collection of samples comprising specimens of identical species from different geographical origin will be established, which can be expanded in the future.

Principal investigators
Kneipp, Janina Prof. Dr. rer. nat. (Details) (Physical Chemistry)


Duration of project
Start date: 01/2014
End date: 12/2017

Research Areas
Plant Biochemistry and Biophysics

Last updated on 2022-08-09 at 23:07