Navigation Links
Ceres and Texas A&M to develop and market high-biomass sorghum for biofuels
Date:10/5/2007

COLLEGE STATION - Energy crop company Ceres, Inc. and the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station of The Texas A&M University System announced Oct. 1 that they have entered into an exclusive, multi-year joint research and commercialization agreement for high biomass sorghum.

These plants are not designed to produce grain, but rather vast amounts of biomass the raw material for a new generation of biofuels made from stems, stalks and leaves.

Today, sorghum-to-ethanol production uses the grain, like corn, but the plants themselves hold the greatest potential for biofuel production, says Peter Mascia, Ceres Vice President of Product Development. He notes that new technologies are making it possible to utilize the carbohydrates that comprise plant cell walls, called cellulose.

"As these technologies mature, farmers will transition from growing as much grain per acre to producing as much biomass as they can per acre, with as little energy and agronomic inputs as possible. This means new crops and specialized hybrids like these high-biomass sorghum types will be needed," Mascia said.

Plant scientist Dr. Bill Rooney of the A&M System's Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (TAES) says that sorghum is a near-ideal crop for cellulosic biofuels.

"Sorghum produces high yields, is naturally drought tolerant and can thrive in places that do not support corn and other food crops.

Sorghum also fits into established production systems and is harvested the year it is planted, unlike perennial grasses, so it fits well in a crop mix with perennial species and existing crops, like cotton," said Rooney.

A pioneer in developing high-biomass sorghum, Rooney's first breeding lines the precursors to hybrids can approach 20 feet under favorable conditions, he says, and could produce more than 2,000 gallons of ethanol per acre more than four times the current starch-to-ethanol process.

To accelerate product development, Ceres and TAES will work together to expand their marker-assisted breeding efforts. Markers allow plant breeders to identify useful traits in seed tissue or when plants are still seedlings. Large numbers of markers provide a roadmap of the sorghum genome, cutting years off development timelines for new products, and making it easier to improve the makeup of the plants to facilitate processing.

"Markers and biotechnology will be crucial for developing sorghum for cellulosic biofuels," says Rooney.

Mascia said Ceres has Texas-sized expectations for the collaboration. "When we combine their resources with our high-throughput trait development capabilities, we believe we can double the rate of improvement to biomass yields, while expanding the range of the crop for earlier planting in cooler and drier conditions, especially on so-called marginal or unproductive land," said Mascia.

He expects that commercial quantities of the initial hybrids will be available in time to meet the requirements of the first cellulosic biorefineries currently being planned.

As part of this agreement, Ceres will obtain exclusive commercialization rights to TAES's high biomass sorghum hybrids developed in the joint research program. The TAES program will receive royalties as well as financial and technology support from Ceres. Other aspects of the collaboration were not disclosed.

"This agreement between Ceres and TAES is a great model of how research institutions and the private sector can collaborate to accelerate existing research programs to solve our country's future energy needs," said Dr. Mark Hussey, director of TAES. "Having our scientists work jointly on future bioenergy research is a win-win situation for both TAES and Ceres, and will help meet the growing demand for biofuels through the development of cellulosic feedstocks."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jason Cook
jason.cook@tamu.edu
979-862-7346
Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Sugar beet virus mutation requires Texas touch
2. Research suggests fitness of Florida panthers improved by limited breeding with Texas animals
3. Texas scientists discover how a hepatitis C protein promotes liver cancer
4. Fire ant-attacking fly spreading rapidly in Texas
5. A much-needed shot in the arm for HIV vaccine development
6. Clam embryo study shows pollutant mixture adversely affects nerve cell development
7. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a new approach for directing treatment to metastasized prostate cancer in the bones.
8. Protein Packages Found To Activate Genes; May Be What Regulates Development And Disease
9. Scientists develop new color-coded test for protein folding
10. Gene Vaccine Protects Mice Against Development Of Her2/neu Breast Cancer
11. Development of portable infectious disease detector
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/3/2016)... Vigilant Solutions announces today that the ... Missouri solved two recent hit-and-run cases with ... Vigilant Solutions. Brian Wenberg explains, "I ... was walking out of a convenience store and witnessed an elderly male back ... striking his vehicle and leaving the scene.  In his ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016 Checkpoint Inhibitors ... Rising Market Are you interested in the ... revenues for checkpoint inhibitors. Visiongain,s report gives those ... product and national level. Avoid falling behind ... progress, opportunities and revenues those emerging cancer therapies ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... 2016 Rising sales of consumer ... touchfree intuitive gesture control market size ... of consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements to ... size through 2020   --> ... technological advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... With a presidential election in November and the ... will bring together over 500 top healthcare leaders for a night and day of ... organized by MBA students of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, will be held ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... of Prussia, PA (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... Business Development, Europe. Based in Paris, he will focus on acquiring new accounts ... are being met. , “Fred brings to our European clients more ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... 2016 This market research report on the ... prospects of the market in terms of revenue (USD ... in the manufacture of microbiology culture media and related ... market snapshot providing the overall information of various market ... section also provides the overall information and data analysis ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... - BIOREM Inc. (TSXV: BRM) ("Biorem" or "the Company") today ... technology companies in the TSX Venture 50 TM . ... the TSX Venture Exchange, in each of five major industry ... & life sciences, diversified industries and technology – based on ... investment, market cap growth, trading volume and analyst coverage. All ...
Breaking Biology Technology: