Determination of loline alkaloids and mycelial biomass in endophyte-infected schedonorus pratensis by near-infrared spectroscopy and chemometrics

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  • Giovanni Cagnano, DLF Seeds A/S
  • ,
  • Beatriz R. Vázquez-De-Aldana, CSIC - Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Salamanca
  • ,
  • Torben Asp
  • Niels Roulund, DLF-Trifolium AS
  • ,
  • Christian S. Jensen, DLF Seeds A/S
  • ,
  • Milton Carlos Soto-Barajas, Instituto Tecnológico de Chiná

Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is an accurate, fast and nondestructive technique whose use in predicting forage quality has become increasingly relevant in recent decades. Epichloëinfected grass varieties are commonly used in areas with high pest pressure due to their better performances compared to endophyte-free varieties. The insect resistance of Epichloë-infected grasses has been associated with four main groups of endophyte secondary metabolites: ergot alkaloids, indole-diterpenes, lolines and peramine. Concentrations of these alkaloids are usually measured with high performance liquid chromatography or gas chromatography analysis, which are accurate methods but relatively expensive and laborious. In this paper, we developed a rapid method based on NIRS to detect and quantify loline alkaloids in wild accessions of Schedonorus pratensis infected with the fungal endophyte Epichloë uncinata. The quantitative NIR equations obtained by modified partial least squares algorithm had coefficients of correlation of 0.90, 0.78, 0.85, 0.90 for N-acetylloline, N-acetylnorloline and N-formylloline and the sum of the three, respectively. The acquired NIR spectra were also used for developing an equation to predict in planta fungal biomass with a coefficient of correlation of 0.75. These results showed that the use of NIRS and chemometrics allows the quantification of loline alkaloids and mycelial biomass in a heterogeneous set of endophyte-infected meadow fescue samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number776
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

    Research areas

  • Chemometrics, Epichloë, Fungal endophytes, Meadow fescue, NIRS

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