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Senna reticulata: a Viable Option for Bioenergy Production in the Amazonian Region

Abstract

Senna reticulata is an Amazonian tree that quickly accumulates high biomass. It grows widely in the north of Brazil occupying degraded regions and is popularly known as “matapasto” (pasture-killer) due to its aggressive colonization strategy. When its aerial parts are harvested, S. reticulata recolonizes the pasture quickly recovering biomass production. In this work, we examined the potential of S. reticulata for bioenergy production in the Amazon region and the effect of a CO2 enriched atmosphere on its biomass composition. Nearly 50% of the biomass of the aerial parts is non-structural carbohydrates (NSC). Concerning structural carbohydrates, pectins (25% and 23%), hemicelluloses (11% and 16%), and cellulose (4% and 14%) contents were very similar in leaves and stems, respectively. Lignin varied considerably among organs, being 35% in roots, 7% in stems, and 10% in leaves. Although elevated CO2 did not change significantly cell wall pools, lignin content was reduced in leaves and roots. Furthermore, starch increased 31% in leaves under elevated CO2, which improved saccharification by 47%. We conclude that Senna reticulata is a suitable species for use as a bioenergy feedstock in the tropics and specifically for remote communities in the Amazonian region.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Maria Tereza Fernandes Piedade (INPA) for all the support with seed collection and Eglee Igarashi (LAFIECO) for HPLC analyses.

Funding

This work was supported by the National Institute of Science and Technology of Bioethanol (INCT-Bioethanol) (FAPESP 2008/57908-6 and 2014/50884-5; National Council for Scientific and Technological Development CNPq 574002/2008-1 and 465319/2014-9); the Ministry of Science and Technology of Brazil, Eletronorte (Pará, Brazil); and Centro de Processos Biológicos e Industriais para Biocombustíveis-CeProBIO (FAPESP 2009/52840-7 and CNPq 490022/2009-0). AG and BCAM are thankful to CNPq and MCMM thanks FAPESP (18/03764-5) for their fellowships.

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Correspondence to Marcos S. Buckeridge.

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Grandis, A., Arenque-Musa, B.C., Martins, M.C.M. et al. Senna reticulata: a Viable Option for Bioenergy Production in the Amazonian Region. Bioenerg. Res. 14, 91–105 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12155-020-10176-x

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Keywords

  • Starch
  • Saccharification
  • Climate change
  • Ethanol
  • CO2
  • Bioenergy