Estimating hydrogen cyanide in forage sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) by near-infrared spectroscopy

Glen P Fox, Natalie O'Donnell, Peter N Stewart, Roslyn M Gleadow

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Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) is a toxic chemical that can potentially cause mild to severe reactions in animals when grazing forage sorghum. Developing technologies to monitor the level of HCN in the growing crop would benefit graziers, so that they can move cattle into paddocks with acceptable levels of HCN. In this study, we developed near-infrared spectroscopy (MRS) calibrations to estimate HCN in forage sorghum and hay. The full spectral NIRS range (400-2498 nm) was used as well as specific spectral ranges within the full spectral range, i.e., visible (400-750 nm), shortwave (800-1100 nm) and near-infrared (NIR) (1100-2498 nm). Using the full spectrum approach and partial least-squares (PLS), the calibration produced a coefficient of determination (R-2) = 0.838 and standard error of cross-validation (SECV) = 0.040 , while the validation set had a R-2 = 0.824 with a low standard error of prediction (SEP = 0.047 ). When using a multiple linear regression (MLR) approach, the best model (NIR spectra) produced a R-2 = 0.847 and standard error of calibration (SEC) = 0.050 and a R-2 = 0.829 and SEP = 0.057 for the validation set. The MLR models built from these spectral regions all used nine wavelengths. Two specific wavelengths 2034 and 2458 nm were of interest, with the former associated with C=O carbonyl stretch and the latter associated with C-N-C stretching. The most accurate PLS and MLR models produced a ratio of standard error of prediction to standard deviation of 3.4 and 3.0, respectively, suggesting that the calibrations could be used for screening breeding material. The results indicated that it should be feasible to develop calibrations using PLS or MLR models for a number of users, including breeding programs to screen for genotypes with low HCN, as well as graziers to monitor crop status to help with grazing efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6183 - 6187
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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