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Harnessing the power of plants
Date:8/18/2011

lysis will be used with near-infrared spectroscopy technology to build predictive models. The researchers can use these models to accurately predict the biomass composition in the other samples rather than using the costly chemical analysis process. Wang, whose expertise is in biological and agricultural engineering, will oversee this phase.

"This process is part of what we call 21st-century predictive biology," Yu said. "We'll have a total of 3,600 field samples collected for this two-year, dual replication study from three locations in Kansas. The third and final year will be dedicated to validation. Basically we'll have a ton of samples to work with, and this predictive process will help us manage the data and workload."

Yu said the group is prepped for this new genetic challenge through their previous research projects, which have been supported by Kansas State University's Targeted Excellence Program, Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission, National Sorghum Checkoff Program and the Great Plains Sorghum Improvement and Utilization Center.

"There's that adage that says you can't just build a better car by making a bigger engine. You also need a solid frame to support it," Yu said. "For this biomass sorghum car, we don't have the upgrades yet that are necessary to really think about the engine, so we need to build and improve that framework. It's pretty exciting that a single project like this can bring together such an interdisciplinary team for a singular focus."


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Contact: Jianming Yu
jyu@k-state.edu
785-532-6094
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

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