Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) is an important cool-season, annual forage crop for the grassland rotation system in Southern China. The primary aim of breeding programs is always to seek to improve forage quality in the animal productivity system; however, it is time- and labor-consuming when analyzed excessive large number of samples. The main objectives of this study were to construct near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) models to predict the forage chemistry quality of Italian ryegrass including the concentrations of crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), and water soluble carbohydrate (WSC). The results showed that a broader range of CP, NDF, ADF and WSC contents (%DM) were obtained (4.45– 30.60, 21.29–60.47, 11.66–36.17 and 3.95–51.52, respectively) from the samples selected for developing NIRS models. In addition, the critical wavelengths identified in this study to construct optimal NIRS models were located in 4,247–6,102 and 4,247–5,450 cm-1 for CP and NDF content, and both wavelengths 5,446–6,102 and 4,247–4,602 cm-1 could for ADF and WSC. Finally, the optimal models were developed based on the laboratory data and the spectral information by partial least squares (PLS) regression, with relatively high coefficients of determination (R2CV, CP = 0.99, NDF = 0.94, ADF = 0.92, WSC = 0.88), ratio of prediction to devitation (RPD, CP = 8.58, NDF = 4.25, ADF = 3.64, WSC = 3.10). The further statistics of prediction errors relative to laboratory (PRL) and the range error ratio (RER) give excellent assessments of the models with the PRL ratios lower than 2 and the RER values greater than 10. The NIRS models were validated using a completely independent set of samples and have coefficients of determination (R2V, CP = 0.99, NDF = 0.91, ADF = 0.95, WSC = 0.91) and ratio of prediction to deviation (RPD, CP = 9.37, NDF = 3.44, ADF = 4.40, WSC = 3.39). The result suggested that routine screening for forage quality parameters with large numbers of samples is available with the NIRS model in Italian ryegrass breeding programs, as well as facilitating graziers to monitor the forage development stage for improving grazing efficiency.
Yang, Z., Nie, G., Pan, L., Zhang, Y., Huang, L., Ma, X., & Zhang, X. (2017). Development and validation of near-infrared spectroscopy for the prediction of forage quality parameters in Lolium multiflorum. PeerJ, 2017(10). https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3867