Using attenuated-total-reflection Fourier-transformed spectroscopy to reveal molecular structural differences among willow (Salix spp.) foliage cultivars in relation to their potential as fodders

Jordi Ortuño, Thomas Traynor, Mairead Campbell, Katerina Theodoridou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
62 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Willow trees represent a suitable species for the development of agroforestry systems, integrating bioenergy and animal feed production. However, there is a lack of information regarding the suitability of leaves and stems, considered a bioenergy by-product, as animal feed. The aim of this study was the employment of attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (550–4000 cm−1) to investigate differences in the nutrient molecular structure profile of leaves and stems of selected willow cultivars to understand their utility for ruminant nutrition.
RESULTS
Univariate analysis of variance of leaves showed lower intensities of cellulosic compounds and higher of protein in comparison with stems, which suggests higher leaf dry matter and protein digestibility. Spectral analyses revealed differences in both plant parts between Salix cv. Terra Nova and Salix cv. Beagle, cv. Resolution, and cv. Olof. The higher α-helix to β-sheet ratio, which is related to a higher protein digestibility, was in correlation with the lower content of condensed tannins. Principal component and agglomerative hierarchical cluster analyses showed significant discrimination among willow cultivars in the cellulosic, structural carbohydrate, and amide regions, whereas differences were less evident for total carbohydrate and lipid-related regions.
CONCLUSION
The application of attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared molecular spectroscopy is an effective tool to rapidly identify spectral features related to the nutritional composition of willow foliage and to discriminate between cultivars and parts of the plant. This information would be useful to optimize the use of willow fodders in agroforestry systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Early online date09 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 09 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords

  • agroforestry
  • ATR-FTIR
  • molecular structure
  • multivariate analysis
  • ruminant nutrition
  • willow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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