Confirmatory detection and identification of biotic and abiotic stresses in wheat using Raman spectroscopy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Wheat is one of the oldest and most widely cultivated staple food crops worldwide. Wheat encounters an array of biotic and abiotic stresses during its growth that significantly impact the crop yield and consequently global food security. Molecular and imaging methods that can be used to detect such stresses are laborious and have numerous limitations. This catalyzes the search for alternative techniques that can be used to monitor plant health. Raman spectroscopy (RS) is a modern analytical technique that is capable of probing structure and composition of samples non-invasively and non-destructively. In this study, we investigate the accuracy of RS in confirmatory diagnostics of biotic and abiotic stresses in wheat. Specifically, we modelled nitrogen deficiency (ND) and drought, key abiotic stresses, and Russian wheat aphid (Diuraphis noxia) infestation and viral diseases: wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) and Triticum mosaic virus (TriMV), economically significant biotic stresses in common bread wheat. Raman spectra as well as high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC)-based analyses revealed drastically distinct changes in the intensity of carotenoid vibration (1185 cm-1) and in the concentration of lutein, chlorophyll, and pheophytin biomolecules of wheat, triggered in response to aforementioned biotic and abiotic stresses. The biochemical changes were reflected in unique vibrational signatures in the corresponding Raman spectra, which, in turn could be used for ~100% accurate identification of biotic and abiotic stresses in wheat. These results demonstrate that a hand-held Raman spectrometer could provide an efficient, scalable, and accurate diagnosis of both biotic as well as abiotic stresses in the field.

published proceedings

  • Front Plant Sci

altmetric score

  • 2.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Higgins, S., Serada, V., Herron, B., Gadhave, K. R., & Kurouski, D.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Higgins, Samantha||Serada, Valeryia||Herron, Benjamin||Gadhave, Kiran R||Kurouski, Dmitry

publication date

  • January 2022