Application of High-Throughput Screening Raman Spectroscopy (HTS-RS) for Label-Free Identification and Molecular Characterization of Pollen

in: Sensors (2019)
Mondol, Abdullah Saif; Patel, Milind D.; Rüger, Jan; Stiebing, Clara; Kleiber, Andreas; Henkel, Thomas; Popp, Jürgen; Schie, Iwan W.
Pollen studies play a critical role in various fields of science. In the last couple of decades, replacement of manual identification of pollen by image-based methods using pollen morphological features was a great leap forward, but challenges for pollen with similar morphology remain, and additional approaches are required. Spectroscopy approaches for identification of pollen, such as Raman spectroscopy has potential benefits over traditional methods, due to the investigation of the intrinsic molecular composition of a sample. However, current Raman-based characterization of pollen is complex and time-consuming, resulting in low throughput and limiting the statistical significance of the acquired data. Previously demonstrated high-throughput screening Raman spectroscopy (HTS-RS) eliminates the complexity as well as human interaction by incorporation full automation of the data acquisition process. Here, we present a customization of HTS-RS for pollen identification, enabling sampling of a large number of pollen in comparison to other state-of-the-art Raman pollen investigations. We show that using Raman spectra we are able to provide a preliminary estimation of pollen types based on growth habits using hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) as well as good taxonomy of 37 di_erent Pollen using principal component analysis-support vector machine (PCA-SVM) with good accuracy even for the pollen specimens sharing similar morphological features. Our results suggest that HTS-RS platform meets the demands for automated pollen detection making it an alternative method for research concerning pollen.

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