Navigation Links
MSU's discovery of plant protein holds promise for biofuel production
Date:8/15/2008

EAST LANSING, Mich. Scientists at Michigan State University have identified a new protein necessary for chloroplast development. The discovery could ultimately lead to plant varieties tailored specifically for biofuel production.

Chloroplasts, which are specialized compartments in plant cells, convert sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into sugars and oxygen ("fuel" for the plant) during photosynthesis. The newly discovered protein, trigalactosyldiacylglycerol 4, or TGD4, offers insight into how the process works.

"Nobody knew how this mechanism worked before we described this protein," said Christoph Benning, MSU professor of biochemistry and molecular biology. "This protein directly affects photosynthesis and how plants create biomass (stems, leaves and stalks) and oils."

Benning also is a member of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, a partnership between MSU and the University of Wisconsin-Madison funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to conduct basic research aimed at solving some of the most complex problems in converting natural materials to energy.

The research, published in the August 2008 issue of journal The Plant Cell, shows how TGD4 is essential for the plant to make chloroplasts. Plants that don't have the protein die before they can develop beyond the embryonic stage.

Understanding how TGD4 works may allow scientists to create plants that would be used exclusively to produce biofuels, possibly making the process more cost-effective. Most plants that are used to produce oils corn, soybeans and canola, for example accumulate the oil in their seeds.

"We've found that if the TGD4 protein is malfunctioning, the plant then accumulates oil in its leaves," Benning said. "If the plant is storing oil in its leaves, there could be more oil per plant, which could make production of biofuels such as biodiesel more efficient. More research is needed so we can completely understand the mechanism of operation."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jamie DePolo
depolo@msu.edu
609-354-8403
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. GIANT-Coli: A novel method to quicken discovery of gene function
2. Life Sciences Discovery Fund awards health research project grants
3. Open access to large-scale drug discovery data
4. Discovery of a mechanism that regulates cell movement
5. Mobilizing white blood cells to the lung: New discovery could lead to an improved influenza vaccine
6. Insect warning colors aid cancer and tropical disease drug discovery
7. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reports on novel hit-to-lead drug discovery
8. New discovery proves selfish gene exists
9. UC Davis researcher leads climate-change discovery
10. New discovery on role of vital protein that fights meningitis
11. University of Arizona scientist shares in discovery of microbe filaments power
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ) ... appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards ... Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief Executive ... their guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise as we ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... 2017   EyeLock LLC , a leader of ... States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. ... of an iris image with a face image acquired ... company,s 45 th issued patent. ... given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... CHICAGO , March 29, 2017  higi, the ... ecosystem in North America , today ... Partners and the acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment ... extensive set of tools to transform population health activities ... and lifestyle data. higi collects and secures ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/18/2017)... ... September 18, 2017 , ... USDM Life Sciences ... the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces Bryan Coddington and ... Transformation in Medical Device – The Journey to FDA Compliant Field Service and ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... ... September 14, 2017 , ... ... introduces its flexible scientist program (FSP)-- a flexible business approach similar to ... which combines SSCI’s extensive project-based analytical and solid-state chemistry services and expertise ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... ... September 14, 2017 , ... ... its extensive experience with Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) and ‘big data’ ... testing. In 2014, US healthcare spending exceeded $3.0 trillion with nearly 1/3 spent ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... DC (PRWEB) , ... September 14, 2017 , ... AIM ... IT, Medical Tracking Systems Inc. has won the 2017 Case Study Competition for AIDC. ... technologies which provide benefits that decrease risk” and push the adoption of automated data ...
Breaking Biology Technology: