Coupling several imaging methods improves agronomic product characterization

Coupling several imaging methods improves agronomic product characterization

Coupling several imaging methods improves agronomic product characterization

Water and polysaccharides in cell walls are two components that have a strong impact on the technological or usage properties of agronomic products, especially cereals. Different imaging methods are able to characterize these two components: mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) can map the chemical composition of the samples, without any preconceived notions of the molecules to be analyzed, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a non-destructive method, reveals the anatomy of the organs and the state of hydration (content / mobility). To get a complete picture of the sample, researchers must be able to compare and merge the information obtained from these two methods. The difficulties concern the difference in image resolution, and the deformations caused by MSI during sample preparation.

We developed a complete image processing workflow to merge the information obtained by both imaging methods. The workflow includes method-specific preprocessing steps, image registration to spatially match the information, and dimension reduction to simplify the data. Spatialised information can then be superimposed to match the chemical composition and mobility of the water, and thus to understand, without any preconceived ideas, the molecules whose location correlates best with that of the water.
When applied to wheat grains at different stages of development, the method can be used to correlate the nature of hydration to the degree of substitution and acetylation of non-cellulosic polysaccharides present in the grain walls. In particular, the co-location of the most substituted and/or highly acetylated xylans in the most hydrated regions suggests a higher porosity of the walls related to the xylan modification.

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Modification date : 11 September 2023 | Publication date : 26 December 2022 | Redactor : MW