Fifteen Miscanthus genotypes grown in five locations across Europe were analysed to investigate the influence of genetic and environmental factors on cell wall composition. Chemometric techniques combining near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) and conventional chemical analyses were used to construct calibration models for determination of acid detergent lignin (ADL), acid detergent fibre (ADF), and neutral detergent fibre (NDF) from sample spectra. Results generated were subsequently converted to lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose content and used to assess the genetic and environmental variation in cell wall composition of Miscanthus and to identify genotypes which display quality traits suitable for exploitation in a range of energy conversion systems. The NIRS calibration models developed were found to predict concentrations with a good degree of accuracy based on the coefficient of determination (R2), standard error of calibration (SEC), and standard error of cross-validation (SECV) values. Across all sites mean lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose values in the winter harvest ranged from 76–115 g kg-1, 412–529 g kg-1, and 235–338 g kg-1 respectively. Overall, of the 15 genotypes Miscanthus x giganteus and Miscanthus sacchariflorus contained higher lignin and cellulose concentrations in the winter harvest. The degree of observed genotypic variation in cell wall composition indicates good potential for plant breeding and matching feedstocks to be optimised to different energy conversion processes.
- plant cell wall
- fuel matching