J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2006, Vol. 48 ›› Issue (4): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2006.00191.x

• Research Articles •    

Walnut Staminate Flowers Can Be Explored as a Supplementary Plant Oil Source

Husen Jia and Yinong Xu   

Abstract: Fossil fuel is currently the major energy source driving global socio-economy, but its stock is being heavily depleted due to increasing anthropogenic activities worldwide. There are also concerns regarding the burning of fossil fuels, which contributes to global climate warming and air pollution. As such, the development of biodiesel as a non-toxic, biodegradable, and renewable alternative energy source using oil crops such as soybean and rapeseed has quickly emerged in the West countries. However, the production of oil crops in China is far from sufficient to meet the demands of the country’s population of 1.3 billion, and increasing oil crop production is inhibited by a severe shortage of agricultural land, which currently averages 0.2 acre per person and, as such, is less than half the world average. The current national policy in China regarding land use is more towards revering cultivated lands in ravins and hills to forestry, which presents an ideal opportunity to further develop plantations of walnut (Juglans regia L.) trees, a plant that is tolerant to drought and infertile soils and has a high oil content. Study in this paper shows that one ament of walnut staminate flowers produces about 0.168 g dry pollen, and the dry pollen contained 49.67% oil. Based on this discovery, oil yield obtained from staminate flowers is estimated to reach 6.95% of that from walnut nuts. Thus walnut staminate flower is suggested to explore as supplementary plant oil source, and has a great opportunity to utilize as a biodiesel feedstock.(Author for correspondence.E-mail:yinongxu@ibcas.ac.cn)

Key words: biodiesel feedstock, oil, walnut staminate flowers

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