Selection of Camelina Genotypes and Cropping Systems for Higher Biomass and Oil Yield With Less Nitrogen Fertilizer Input
Camelina Sativa has been identified as a non-food oilseed bioenergy crop for biofuel and bioproduct production. Nitrogen (N) fertilizer is the major energy input for this bioenergy feedstock production. Although camelina has been considered as a low-input crop, but high nitrogen-use-efficiency (NUE) genotypes need to be identified for maximized net energy output of the bioenergy feedstock production. Traits that contributed to higher NUE also need to be analyzed for plant breeding and genetic improvement. In an experiment conducted in the Eastern Agriculture Research Center of Montana State University located near Sidney, Montana in 2021 and 2022, individual plants of 212 genotypes and 7 commercial cultivars of camelina were planted in a randomized complete block design with 6 replications and two nitrogen input levels (0 N and 100 N). Individual plants were planted at a space of 90 cm between rows and 30 cm between plants within the row. Plant growth and performance were monitored and whole plant was harvested at maturity. Each plant was air-dried in a greenhouse and dry biomass was recorded. Numbers of seed pods per plant, seeds per pod, and one-thousand-seed weight were examined. Finally, seed oil content and nitrogen concentration of seed and plant tissue were measured. Results showed great variations among the genotypes in biomass and seed yield as well as oil and nitrogen concentrations in both high and low N environments. Among the 212 camelina accessions we studied, seed yield ranged from 5 to 32 g plant-1 and oil concentration varied from 26 to 38%. Nitrogen concentration in seed and plant tissue also varied among the accessions. Several genotypes have been identified to have a higher NUE based on biomass, seed, and oil yields under low and high N environment.