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Crop Science Abstract - Forage & Grazinglands

Variation in Biomass Composition Components among Forage, Biomass, Sorghum-Sudangrass, and Sweet Sorghum Types


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 52 No. 4, p. 1949-1954
    Received: Oct 4, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): wlr@tamu.edu
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  1. Thomas R. Stefaniaka,
  2. Jeffery A. Dahlbergb,
  3. Brent W. Beanc,
  4. Nilesh Dighed,
  5. Edward J. Wolfrume and
  6. William L. Rooney *a
  1. a Dep. of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX 77843-2474
    b Kearney Research & Extension Center, 9240 S. Riverbend Ave., Parlier, CA 93648
    c Texas Agrilife Research and Extension Center, 6500 Amarillo Blvd W., Amarillo, TX 79106
    d Monsanto Texas Cotton Breeding and Technology Center, 3410 N. Elm Ave., Lubbock, TX 79403
    e National Renewable Energy Lab, 1617 Cole Blvd., Golden, CO 80401-3305


Alternative biomass sources must be developed if the United States is to meet the goal in the U.S. Energy Security Act of 2007 to derive 30% of its petroleum from renewable sources, and several different biomass crops are currently in development. Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] is one such crop that will be an important feedstock source for biofuel production. As composition influences productivity, there exists a need to understand the range in composition observed within the crop. The goal of this research was to assess the range in dietary fiber composition observed within different types of biomass sorghums. A total of 152 sorghum samples were divided into the four end-use types of sorghum: biomass, forage, sorghum-sudangrass, and sweet. These samples were analyzed chemically using dietary fiber analysis performed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory using published protocols. Significant variation among the groups was detected for glucan and ash. Positive and highly significant correlations were detected between structural carbohydrates in the biomass and sweet sorghums while many of these correlations were negative or not significant in the forage and sorghum-sudangrass types. In addition, a wide range of variation was present within each group indicating that there is potential to manipulate the composition of the crop.

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