Navigation Links
Genomics of wood for biofuels production investigated
Date:11/7/2011

A team of Virginia Tech researchers is working to characterize the genes involved in wood formation in poplar trees with the goal of improving the quality and quantity of wood as a feedstock for biofuels production.

"This type of genomics research is an important complement to the work of other biofuels researchers who develop better and more efficient ways to process woody biomass for biofuels," said Eric Beers, professor of horticulture and the lead investigator on the project. "The ultimate goal is to help develop renewable energy and advanced biofuels to provide a more secure future for domestic energy needs and develop new opportunities for our agriculture industry."

According to Beers, the potential benefits of this research include decreasing oil imports, reducing the use of food crops for ethanol production, and increasing options for American farmers. Because some cultivars of poplar are more tolerant of conditions such as drought and poor soils, they can be grown on marginal lands unsuitable for food crops, thereby avoiding competition with food production. Farmers will thus have the option to grow bioenergy crops in addition to other existing crop choices.

This work is funded by a $1.5 million grant received from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Feedstocks Genomics for Bioenergy Program. Virginia Tech is one of 11 universities that have received funding to conduct research to accelerate bioenergy crop production and spur economic impact. Other plants being studied as possible sources of biofuels or as model organisms to advance the field of biofuels production are switchgrass, Miscanthus, sugarcane, sorghum, and Brachypodium.

This work is a continuation of work begun in 2007 that identified, cloned, and sequenced approximately 400 genes that are associated with wood formation in poplar. These wood-associated genes serve as the foundational resource for the current project, and several have been the subjects of detailed functional analysis during the previous funding period.

Amy Brunner, associate professor of forest research and environmental conservation; Richard Helm, associate professor of biochemistry; and Allan Dickerman, assistant professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute; are co-investigators on the project.

Over the next three years, researchers will identify the key interactions among hundreds of proteins associated with wood formation in poplar. These findings will form the basis for the creation of transgenic poplar plants. The transgenic poplars will be designed to produce higher or lower levels of selected interacting proteins. Chemical, physiological, and molecular analysis of the transgenic trees will be performed to learn more about the basic biology of wood formation and to determine whether such genetic modifications can increase the value of poplar as a biofuels feedstock.


'/>"/>
Contact: Laura Neff-Henderson
lauranh@vt.edu
540-231-5349
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Rosetta Genomics Initiates Closing of Private Placement
2. Genomatix to partner in $41 million European epigenomics consortium
3. Eurofins MWG Operon and Integrated Genomics cooperate to provide complete genome projects
4. Eurofins MWG Operon and Integrated Genomics cooperate to provide complete genomics projects
5. Scripps and Complete Genomics to collaborate on genetic research study on healthy aging
6. Vanderbilt ethicist to study return of results issue involving children in genomics studies
7. International pharmacogenomics conference to focus on better drug treatment based on genetics
8. Hong Kong University leads the genomics research of scarlet fever pathogen
9. Genomics and social network analysis team up to solve disease outbreaks
10. OGI genomics researchers awarded $23 million
11. Dr. Daniel Von Hoff presented with top genomics award from Scripps
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Genomics of wood for biofuels production investigated
(Date:5/20/2016)...  VoiceIt is excited to announce its new ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will offer ... take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, collaboration ... usability. Both ... "This marketing and technology partnership allows ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a brand ... overview results from the Q1 wave of its quarterly ... was consumers, receptivity to a program where they would ... health insurance company. "We were surprised to ... Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider ... MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , ... multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex ... any combination of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. ... SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" or ... its major shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, LP and ... based venture capital funds which together hold ... a fully diluted, as converted basis), that they have ... entire equity holdings in Biorem to TUS Holdings Co. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Cancer experts from Austria, Hungary, ... be a new and helpful biomarker for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has ... it now. , Biomarkers are components in the blood, tissue or body ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Newly created 4Sight ... solutions to the healthcare market. The company's primary focus is on new product ... marketing strategies that are necessary to help companies efficiently bring their products to ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech ... funding of a Sponsored Research Agreement with The ... cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding will ... levels correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer patients ... will then be employed to support the design ...
Breaking Biology Technology: