Potential sources of high value chemicals from leaves, stems and flowers of Miscanthus sinensis 'Goliath' and Miscanthus sacchariflorus

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Abstract

Society demands chemicals from sustainable sources. Identification of commercially important chemicals in crops increases value in biorefineries and reduces reliance on petrochemicals. Miscanthus sinensis and Miscanthus sacchariflorus are high-yielding distinct plants, which are sources of high-value chemicals and bioethanol through fermentation. Cinnamates in leaves, stems and flowers were analysed by LC-ESI-MS(n). Free phenols were extracted and separated chromatographically. More than twenty hydroxycinnamates were identified by UV and LC-ESI-MS(n). Several cinnamate hexosides were detected in the M. sinensis flower and in M. sacchariflorus (leaf and stem). Hydroxybenzoic acids and their hexosides were observed in leaf and stem of M. sacchariflorus. Higher concentrations of 3-feruloylquinic acid were observed in M. sacchariflorus stem, suggesting a role in cell-wall biosynthesis. This technique can be used to screen plants in a mapping family to identify genotypes/species with high concentrations of phenols. Plants with low concentrations of antimicrobial phenols may be good feedstocks for fermentation.

Keywords

  • miscanthus sinensis, miscanthus sacchariflorus, hydroxybenzoic acids, hydroxycinnamate esters, high-value chemicals