Millettia pinnata (L.) Panigrahi a biodiesel tree, characterisation of traits for production on marginal land

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[Truncated abstract] The leguminous tree, Millettia pinnata (L.) Panigrahi syn. Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre produces oilseed suitable for biodiesel production. It is targeted for planting on marginal lands associated with salinity, waterlogging and nitrogen-poor soils. Superior genotypes are required for oil production and in this study genetic diversity, seed traits and salinity tolerance were assessed. Seeds from the Forest Products Commission trials in Kununurra, northern Western Australia were compared with those from Queensland and the Northern Territory in Australia, India and Indonesia. Genetic diversity, examined using the internal transcribed spacer region, indicated distinctiveness of genotypes from Java, Indonesia. Seed traits varied between trees with the smallest seeds from Indonesia and the biggest from Western Australia. Oil content also varied with a minimum of 28% in an Indonesian accession and the highest of 45% from Kununurra. Across trees, fatty acid composition was predominantly oleic acid (51%) with linoleic (19%), palmitic (11%) stearic (6%), behenic and linolenic (4.5% respectively), and small amounts of lignoceric (1.4%), 11-eicosenoic and arachidic acids (both at 1.2%), and this composition is suitable for biodiesel. At 11 months after flowering, seed had reached maximum weight, they contained the highest oil content, seed oil had the highest proportion of oleic acid, and this was an ideal time for harvest. Waterlogging and salinity tolerance were assessed. Four month-old seedlings from Kununurra and India were exposed to four treatments: non-saline drained control, saline drained, non-saline waterlogged and saline waterlogged. Salt was applied in weekly increments of 50 mM NaCl.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
StateUnpublished - 2013


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