Impact of drought stress on growth and quality of miscanthus for biofuel production

Tim van der Weijde, Laurie M. Huxley, Sarah Hawkins, Eben Eben Haeser Sembiring, Kerrie Farrar, Oene Dolstra, Richard G.F. Visser, Luisa M. Trindade*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Miscanthus has a high potential as a biomass feedstock for biofuel production. Drought tolerance is an important breeding goal in miscanthus as water deficit is a common abiotic stress and crop irrigation is in most cases uneconomical. Drought may not only severely reduce biomass yields, but also affect biomass quality for biofuel production as cell wall remodeling is a common plant response to abiotic stresses. The quality and plant weight of 50 diverse miscanthus genotypes were evaluated under control and drought conditions (28 days no water) in a glasshouse experiment. Overall, drought treatment decreased plant weight by 45%. Drought tolerance - as defined by maintenance of plant weight - varied extensively among the tested miscanthus genotypes and ranged from 30% to 110%. Biomass composition was drastically altered due to drought stress, with large reductions in cell wall and cellulose content and a substantial increase in hemicellulosic polysaccharides. Stress had only a small effect on lignin content. Cell wall structural rigidity was also affected by drought conditions; substantially higher cellulose conversion rates were observed upon enzymatic saccharification of drought-treated samples with respect to controls. Both cell wall composition and the extent of cell wall plasticity under drought varied extensively among all genotypes, but only weak correlations were found with the level of drought tolerance, suggesting their independent genetic control. High drought tolerance and biomass quality can thus potentially be advanced simultaneously. The extensive genotypic variation found for most traits in the evaluated miscanthus germplasm provides ample scope for breeding of drought-tolerant varieties that are able to produce substantial yields of high-quality biomass under water deficit conditions. The higher degradability of drought-treated samples makes miscanthus an interesting crop for the production of second-generation biofuels in marginal soils.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-782
JournalGlobal change biology Bioenergy
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint

Miscanthus
Drought
drought stress
Biofuels
biofuels
biofuel
water stress
drought
drought tolerance
biomass
Biomass
cell walls
Cells
tolerance
abiotic stress
genotype
cellulose
saccharification
water
genetic resistance

Keywords

  • Cell wall composition
  • Cellulose
  • Drought tolerance
  • Hemicellulose
  • Lignin
  • Miscanthus
  • Saccharification efficiency

Cite this

van der Weijde, T., Huxley, L. M., Hawkins, S., Eben Haeser Sembiring, E., Farrar, K., Dolstra, O., ... Trindade, L. M. (2017). Impact of drought stress on growth and quality of miscanthus for biofuel production. Global change biology Bioenergy, 9(4), 770-782. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12382
van der Weijde, Tim ; Huxley, Laurie M. ; Hawkins, Sarah ; Eben Haeser Sembiring, Eben ; Farrar, Kerrie ; Dolstra, Oene ; Visser, Richard G.F. ; Trindade, Luisa M. / Impact of drought stress on growth and quality of miscanthus for biofuel production. In: Global change biology Bioenergy. 2017 ; Vol. 9, No. 4. pp. 770-782.
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abstract = "Miscanthus has a high potential as a biomass feedstock for biofuel production. Drought tolerance is an important breeding goal in miscanthus as water deficit is a common abiotic stress and crop irrigation is in most cases uneconomical. Drought may not only severely reduce biomass yields, but also affect biomass quality for biofuel production as cell wall remodeling is a common plant response to abiotic stresses. The quality and plant weight of 50 diverse miscanthus genotypes were evaluated under control and drought conditions (28 days no water) in a glasshouse experiment. Overall, drought treatment decreased plant weight by 45{\%}. Drought tolerance - as defined by maintenance of plant weight - varied extensively among the tested miscanthus genotypes and ranged from 30{\%} to 110{\%}. Biomass composition was drastically altered due to drought stress, with large reductions in cell wall and cellulose content and a substantial increase in hemicellulosic polysaccharides. Stress had only a small effect on lignin content. Cell wall structural rigidity was also affected by drought conditions; substantially higher cellulose conversion rates were observed upon enzymatic saccharification of drought-treated samples with respect to controls. Both cell wall composition and the extent of cell wall plasticity under drought varied extensively among all genotypes, but only weak correlations were found with the level of drought tolerance, suggesting their independent genetic control. High drought tolerance and biomass quality can thus potentially be advanced simultaneously. The extensive genotypic variation found for most traits in the evaluated miscanthus germplasm provides ample scope for breeding of drought-tolerant varieties that are able to produce substantial yields of high-quality biomass under water deficit conditions. The higher degradability of drought-treated samples makes miscanthus an interesting crop for the production of second-generation biofuels in marginal soils.",
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van der Weijde, T, Huxley, LM, Hawkins, S, Eben Haeser Sembiring, E, Farrar, K, Dolstra, O, Visser, RGF & Trindade, LM 2017, 'Impact of drought stress on growth and quality of miscanthus for biofuel production', Global change biology Bioenergy, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 770-782. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12382

Impact of drought stress on growth and quality of miscanthus for biofuel production. / van der Weijde, Tim; Huxley, Laurie M.; Hawkins, Sarah; Eben Haeser Sembiring, Eben; Farrar, Kerrie; Dolstra, Oene; Visser, Richard G.F.; Trindade, Luisa M.

In: Global change biology Bioenergy, Vol. 9, No. 4, 2017, p. 770-782.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Impact of drought stress on growth and quality of miscanthus for biofuel production

AU - van der Weijde, Tim

AU - Huxley, Laurie M.

AU - Hawkins, Sarah

AU - Eben Haeser Sembiring, Eben

AU - Farrar, Kerrie

AU - Dolstra, Oene

AU - Visser, Richard G.F.

AU - Trindade, Luisa M.

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Miscanthus has a high potential as a biomass feedstock for biofuel production. Drought tolerance is an important breeding goal in miscanthus as water deficit is a common abiotic stress and crop irrigation is in most cases uneconomical. Drought may not only severely reduce biomass yields, but also affect biomass quality for biofuel production as cell wall remodeling is a common plant response to abiotic stresses. The quality and plant weight of 50 diverse miscanthus genotypes were evaluated under control and drought conditions (28 days no water) in a glasshouse experiment. Overall, drought treatment decreased plant weight by 45%. Drought tolerance - as defined by maintenance of plant weight - varied extensively among the tested miscanthus genotypes and ranged from 30% to 110%. Biomass composition was drastically altered due to drought stress, with large reductions in cell wall and cellulose content and a substantial increase in hemicellulosic polysaccharides. Stress had only a small effect on lignin content. Cell wall structural rigidity was also affected by drought conditions; substantially higher cellulose conversion rates were observed upon enzymatic saccharification of drought-treated samples with respect to controls. Both cell wall composition and the extent of cell wall plasticity under drought varied extensively among all genotypes, but only weak correlations were found with the level of drought tolerance, suggesting their independent genetic control. High drought tolerance and biomass quality can thus potentially be advanced simultaneously. The extensive genotypic variation found for most traits in the evaluated miscanthus germplasm provides ample scope for breeding of drought-tolerant varieties that are able to produce substantial yields of high-quality biomass under water deficit conditions. The higher degradability of drought-treated samples makes miscanthus an interesting crop for the production of second-generation biofuels in marginal soils.

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KW - Cell wall composition

KW - Cellulose

KW - Drought tolerance

KW - Hemicellulose

KW - Lignin

KW - Miscanthus

KW - Saccharification efficiency

U2 - 10.1111/gcbb.12382

DO - 10.1111/gcbb.12382

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JO - Global change biology Bioenergy

JF - Global change biology Bioenergy

SN - 1757-1693

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van der Weijde T, Huxley LM, Hawkins S, Eben Haeser Sembiring E, Farrar K, Dolstra O et al. Impact of drought stress on growth and quality of miscanthus for biofuel production. Global change biology Bioenergy. 2017;9(4):770-782. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12382