To investigate chemical uses of Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens) shoot skin, we identified the main component of non-polar solvent extracts. To this end, a white precipitate from n-hexane extracts was evaluated using silica-gel column chromatography. The fraction with the highest recovery showed a single spot in silica-gel thin-layer chromatography (TLC) analyses. In subsequent nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron impact-mass spectrometry (EI-MS) analyses, we identified the compound in the fraction as 1-triacontanol, which is a known regulator of plant growth. In addition, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) experiments showed 1-triacontanol concentrations of 13.3 and 41.7 ppm in fresh and boiled skins, respectively. In boiled skins, 1-triacontanol concentrations reached a maximum of 71.3 ppm after 2 weeks of composting. Although concentrations gradually decreased thereafter, they remained at 19.7 ppm after compost maturation for 6 months. In a further experiment, seeds of Welsh onion were sown on absorbent cotton impregnated with authentic 1-triacontanol solutions, significant increase in hypocotyl length was observed. Due to the presence of 1-triacontanol, Moso bamboo shoot skin has potential as functional compost that promotes plant growth for agricultural uses.
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