Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy
SEED FUND Project MisQual

Genotype and environment as driving factors for quality of lignocelluloses from Miscanthus as raw material for industry


Plant biomass like Miscanthus is the prime example for renewable resources not only for energetic uses but also as raw material for the industry, and is thus the basis for sustainable bioeconomy. The utilization of by plant biomass is challenging because within the supply chain the quality of the biobased raw material has to meet the requirements of the industry. The chemical conversion processes of the feedstock rely on a well-defined high-quality start material. Quality of plant biomass for industrial utilization depends not only on environmental factors (e.g. nutrients, climatic conditions...) but also on the plant variety itself and on biotic interactions of the plant (e.g. fungal infections). All three factors could have a positive as well as negative effect on the quality of the biomass as raw material. It is therefor important to understand if and how these factors could affect the quality of biomass plants like Miscanthus. The aim of the project was therefore to show how environmental factors (e.g. fungal infection, stress) and the plant genotype / variety and their interaction could affect the quality of Miscanthus. Lignocellulose (as one quality parameter) varied between the different genotypes. Miscanthus sinensis showing the lowest lignocelluloses is the genotype with the highest leaf-to-shoot ratio. At the same time the combustion quality was lower (e.g. higher ash content) for this genotype. The genotypes also showed differences in the colonization / infection by different fungal endophytes. The spectrum could be differentiated among the different genotypes but also within the plant.

Participating Core Groups

Prof. Dr. Ralf Pude, Renewable Resources, Inst. of Crop Science and Resource Conservation, University of Bonn
Klein-Altendorf 2
53359 Rheinbach
phone: +49 2225 9996313

Dr. Thorsten Kraska
phone: +49 2225 9113013

Prof. Dr. Jan Schirawski, Microbial Genetics, Inst. of Applied Microbiology, RWTH Aachen
Prof. Dr. Björn Usadel, Botany, Inst. of Biology I, RWTH Aachen

Funding Period

01.11.2014 – 31.12.2015


MisQual is part of the NRW-Strategieprojekt BioSC and thus funded by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Aerial view of Miscanthus field trial at Campus Klein-Altendorf (Univ. Bonn). Different Miscanthus cultivars and genotypes can be distinguished. The different Miscanthus cultivars are central part in the MisQual project (photo was taken by A. Burkhart, FZ Jülich, 2014)