Proper identification of apple rootstocks has always been a problem for nurseries and fruit growers. There needs to be a rapid, inexpensive, and repeatable protocol for identification of apple rootstocks. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), an analytical chemical technique based on infrared laser characterization of molecular bonding energies for biochemical compounds, such as proteins, may provide an answer. Several rootstocks from the 1984 NC-140 apple rootstock trial were compared. Using a BioRad research spectrometer, spectra derived from 1000 scans per freeze dried sample were used to compare the rootstocks. Using Hit Quality Indices (HQI) generated by Lab Calc software, the rootstocks M.7 EMLA, B.9, and a seedling rootstock were compared with themselves, and each of the other two samples. A perfect match gives a HQI of zero. It was found that root cortex tissue could be used to separate these rootstocks from each other, but root xylem tissue was a poor tissue to use for identification.
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