Non-destructive Measurements of Toona sinensis Chlorophyll and Nitrogen Content Under Drought Stress Using Near Infrared Spectroscopy
Liu, W; Li, Y; Tomasetto, F; Yan, W; Tan, Z; Liu, J; Jiang, J
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Drought is a climatic event that considerably impacts plant growth, reproduction and productivity. Toona sinensis is a tree species with high economic, edible and medicinal value, and has drought resistance. Thus, the objective of this study was to dynamically monitor the physiological indicators of T. sinensis in real time to ensure the selection of drought-resistant varieties of T. sinensis. In this study, we used near-infrared spectroscopy as a high-throughput method along with five preprocessing methods combined with four variable selection approaches to establish a cross-validated partial least squares regression model to establish the relationship between the near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) spectrum and physiological characteristics (i.e., chlorophyll content and nitrogen content) of T. sinensis leaves. We also tested optimal model prediction for the dynamic changes in T. sinensis chlorophyll and nitrogen content under five separate watering regimes to mimic non-destructive and dynamic detection of plant leaf physiological changes. Among them, the accuracy of the chlorophyll content prediction model was as high as 72%, with root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.25, and the RPD index above 2.26. Ideal nitrogen content prediction model should have R2 of 0.63, with RMSE of 0.87, and the RPD index of 1.12. The results showed that the PLSR model has a good prediction effect. Overall, under diverse drought stress treatments, the chlorophyll content of T. sinensis leaves showed a decreasing trend over time. Furthermore, the chlorophyll content was the most stable under the 75% field capacity treatment. However, the nitrogen content of the plant leaves was found to have a different and variable trend, with the greatest drop in content under the 10% field capacity treatment. This study showed that NIRS has great potential for analyzing chlorophyll nitrogen and other elements in plant leaf tissues in non-destructive dynamic monitoring.