Non-matrix Matched Glass Disk Calibration Standards Improve XRF Micronutrient Analysis of Wheat Grain across Five Laboratories in India
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Within the HarvestPlus program there are many collaborators currently using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy to measure Fe and Zn in their target crops. In India, five HarvestPlus wheat collaborators have laboratories that conduct this analysis and their throughput has increased significantly. The benefits of using XRF are its ease of use, minimal sample preparation and high throughput analysis. The lack of commercially available calibration standards has led to a need for alternative calibration arrangements for many of the instruments. Consequently, the majority of instruments have either been installed with an electronic transfer of an original grain calibration set developed by a preferred lab, or a locally supplied calibration. Unfortunately, neither of these methods has been entirely successful. The electronic transfer is unable to account for small variations between the instruments, whereas the use of a locally provided calibration set is heavily reliant on the accuracy of the reference analysis method, which is particularly difficult to achieve when analyzing low levels of micronutrient. Consequently, we have developed a calibration method that uses non-matrix matched glass disks. Here we present the validation of this method and show this calibration approach can improve the reproducibility and accuracy of whole grain wheat analysis on 5 different XRF instruments across the HarvestPlus breeding program.
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