Special Issue "Integrated Ways to Improve Forage Production and Nutritional Value"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Grassland and Pasture Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2023 | Viewed by 922

Special Issue Editors

College of Grassland Agriculture, Northwest A&F University, Shaanxi 712100, China
Interests: abiotic stress biology; forage; legume-rhizobium symbiosis; photosynthesis
State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystem, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
Interests: forage improvement; abiotic stress tolerance; stress physiology
Department of Forage Science, College of Grassland Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China
Interests: forage genomics; molecular breeding
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Prof. Dr. Bin Xu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Agro-Grassland Science, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
Interests: forage quality; senescence; genetic engineering
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Forage Seed Laboratory, College of Grassland Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
Interests: forage seed; multi-omics; bioinformatics; genomics; metagenomics
School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
Interests: transgenic plants; stress physiology; stress protein; functional gene research
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The question of how to achieve the expansion of food consumption with a growing population poses a great challenge under the current situation of a global water crisis, land degradation, climate change, agricultural diseases, environmental deteriorations, etc. Forage production as one of the main sources of meat and milk, but it is now facing huge threats due to the above negative factors. Thus, it is imperative to improve forage production and nutritional value by increased efficiency of resource utilization, enhanced adaptation to adversity as well as fortified nutrition, and so on. These integrated efforts will be of great importance in food availability and stability, agricultural sustainability and environment health.
This research Topic aims to enrich our understanding of the potentially valuable ways to enhanced forage production and nutritional value.
We welcome original research articles, methods, and opinions that address the aim. Manuscripts should address, but not be restricted to, the following topics:

  • Molecular or physiological study between forages and microorganisms of plant growth promotion and biological control of insects or diseases;
  • Gene function or pathway characterization via transgenic study or gene editing for forage production, nutrition and adaptation to adversity;
  • Forage breeding by integrating high-throughput genotyping or marker-assisted selecting;
  • Novel means that enhance resource utilization such as mineral elements, water, sunlight or others.

Dr. Jiejun Xi
Prof. Dr. Aike Bao
Prof. Dr. Linkai Huang
Prof. Dr. Bin Xu
Dr. Shangang Jia
Dr. Peng Zhou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • forages
  • forage production and nutritional value
  • efficiency of resource utilization
  • adaptation to adversity

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Inflorescence Trait Diversity and Genotypic Differentiation as Influenced by the Environment in Elymus nutans Griseb. from Qinghai–Tibet Plateau
Agronomy 2023, 13(4), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13041004 - 29 Mar 2023
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The alpine forage grass species Elymus nutans Griseb. is widely distributed in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau and the Himalayas due to its high adaptability. However, it has become threatened by climate warming and excessive grazing. Thus, understanding its genetic and phenotypic information is crucial [...] Read more.
The alpine forage grass species Elymus nutans Griseb. is widely distributed in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau and the Himalayas due to its high adaptability. However, it has become threatened by climate warming and excessive grazing. Thus, understanding its genetic and phenotypic information is crucial to aid resource management and conservation efforts. In this study, microsatellite markers were developed based on RNA-seq transcriptome data from E. nutans Griseb. varieties ‘Aba’ and ‘Kangbei’, resulting in the identification of 48,457 SSRs from 304,554 de novo assembled unigenes. Seventeen polymorphic markers, 13 inflorescence phenotypic traits, and seed shattering values were determined for 31 E. nutans accessions collected from eastern Tibet. The molecular markers generated 134 well-amplified bands with a mean Nei’s genetic diversity of 0.31 and a Shannon information index of 0.46. Pairwise genetic similarity ranged from 0.554 to 0.895, with an average of 0.729. Based on the molecular marker data, all accessions were divided into two classes via the unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA), the Markov chain Monte Carlo method, and the principal coordinate analysis (PCA) method. We used Tassel analysis to determine 11 loci with a significant relationship to phenotypic traits, and Pearson’s correlation analysis showed that some inflorescence traits were significantly influenced by the environment. Furthermore, we detected strong patterns of isolation by both environment (IBE) and distance (IBD) via Mantel analysis. This study provides valuable insights into the genetic and phenotypic differentiation of E. nutans, informing germplasm resource evaluation and future breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Ways to Improve Forage Production and Nutritional Value)
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