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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Commodity Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318164

Research Project: Increasing the Value of Cottonseed

Location: Commodity Utilization Research

Title: Compositional features of cotton plant biomass fractions characterized by attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

Author
item Liu, Yongliang
item He, Zhongqi
item Shankle, Mark - Mississippi State University
item Tewolde, Haile

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/8/2015
Publication Date: 11/21/2015
Citation: Liu, Y., He, Z., Shankle, M., Tewolde, H. 2015. Compositional features of cotton plant biomass fractions characterized by attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Industrial Crops and Products. 79:283-286.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton is one of the most important and widely grown crops in the world. In addition to natural textile fiber production as a primary purpose, it yields a high grade vegetable oil for human consumption and also carbohydrate fiber and protein byproducts for animal feed. Recent studies have shown the potential of cottonseed and other cotton byproducts as industrial raw materials and soil amendments. For increasing the understanding of the distinct characteristics among the different cotton biomass byproducts, in this work, we separated the whole cotton plant into six (mid-season) or nine (pre-defoliation, i.e., pre-harvest treatment) components and analyzed them with attenuated total reflection (ATR)-Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Observations in this work demonstrated that ATR-FTIR spectroscopy would be a very attractive option for evaluating and comparing the structural features of cotton biomass components. The findings of this study would also be useful in developing and improving management strategies for on- and off-field utilization of cotton biomass.

Technical Abstract: Cotton is one of the most important and widely grown crops in the world. In addition to natural textile fiber production as a primary purpose, it yields a high grade vegetable oil for human consumption and also carbohydrate fiber and protein byproducts for animal feed. In this work, attenuated total reflection (ATR)-Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra of cotton plants were collected to explore the potential of ATR-FTIR technique as a simple, rapid, and direct method for characterizing biomass of different components of growing cotton plants (i.e., cotton fibers, stems, roots, leaves, seeds, branches, petioles, burs, and bracts). Complementary to visual inspection of spectral variations, principal component analysis (PCA) of ATR-FTIR spectra revealed the similarity or dissimilarity of samples from various parts of cotton plants, and also identified distinctions of the same plant parts between mid-season and pre-defoliation stages. Notably, it indicated more rapid accumulation of major carbohydrate components in main stems, roots, and branches than in petioles and leaf blades. Results suggest the feasibility of ATR-FTIR as a rapid and non-destructive technique to assess cotton plant growth, nutrition, and biomass production.