Navigation Links
Plant power: The ultimate way to 'go green'?
Date:2/2/2012

Researchers are turning to plants and solar power in the search for new sources of renewable and sustainable energy that can support the transition from rapidly depleting fossil fuels to a bio-based society. An article published by Cell Press in the February 8th issue of Trends in Plant Science discusses innovative strategies for harnessing and re-routing the chemical reactions associated with photosynthesis to efficiently produce highly valuable products.

Photosynthesis is a biological process that uses energy from the sun to produce biomass that may be used as "food", such as sugars, or that can be further processed into bio-fuels. Plants, algae and some bacteria rely on photosynthesis to convert sunlight into chemical energy, and scientists are looking for ways to tap into this natural power source.

"Plants are known to produce more than 200,000 often structurally complex bioactive natural products," explains study author, Dr. Birger Lindberg Mller, from the University of Copenhagen. "Many are valuable to humans, for example as pharmaceuticals, but are present in very low amounts or are quite difficult to isolate."

In their review, Dr. Mller and colleagues discuss approaches for utilizing and optimizing the overall solar light conversion efficiency by tapping directly into the notoriously efficient photosynthetic reactions and modifying the standard carbon flux towards formation of new end products. They describe novel strategies to facilitate light-driven synthesis of useful, high-value chemicals and biofuels.

"Sunlight is the most abundant renewable energy source on Earth," says Dr. Mller. "Synthetic biology approaches, in which known photosynthetic pathways are combined, reassembled and configured into new biosynthetic systems that evolution did not provide, constitute exciting means to develop new environmentally benign production systems to meet some of the global challenges we are facing on our planet."

The PhD student Kenneth Jensen who did most of the experimental work has now moved to the Danish biotech company Novozymes, a company which is market leading with respect to enzymes for biofuel production.


'/>"/>

Contact: Elisabeth (Lisa) Lyons
elyons@cell.com
617-386-2121
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Using plants to silence insect genes in a high-throughput manner
2. Prolific plant hunters provide insight in strategy for collecting undiscovered plant species
3. Lungs clothed in fresh cells offer new hope for transplant patients
4. Biofuel cell generates electricity when implanted in False Deaths Head Cockroach
5. First plants caused ice ages
6. System to deliver organ transplant drug -- without harmful side effects
7. High-tech models help guide restoration efforts to save threatened plants
8. UF study: Rules may govern genome evolution in young plant species
9. Discovery of plant nourishing gene brings hope for increased crop seed yield and food security
10. Dramatic links found between climate change, elk, plants, and birds
11. UF research on newly formed plants could lead to improved crop fertility
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/7/2017)... , Feb. 7, 2017 Zimmer Biomet ... in musculoskeletal healthcare, will present at the LEERINK Partners ... York Palace Hotel on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at ... webcast of the presentation can be accessed at ... following the conference via Zimmer Biomet,s Investor Relations website ...
(Date:2/3/2017)... A new independent identity strategy consultancy firm announces its ... to fill a critical niche in technical and policy ... Mark Crego and Janice Kephart together ... that span federal governments, the 9/11 Commission, private industry, ... has a common theme born from a shared passion ...
(Date:2/1/2017)... February 1, 2017 IDTechEx Research, a leading ... technology, announces the availability of a new report, Sensors for ... Continue Reading ... ... collaborative robots. Source: IDTechEx Report "Sensors for Robotics: Technologies, Markets and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/17/2017)...  If only one in every hundred cells ... to chemotherapy, thousands of cancer cells would remain ... finding these mutations in ever-smaller subpopulations of tumor ... in blood — to guide treatment decisions and ... however, detecting these genetic anomalies may be more ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... ... February 16, 2017 , ... Avomeen & MichBio will ... event will be held at Avomeen Analytical Services (4840 Venture Dr., Ann Arbor, Michigan ... organization. They provide an opportunity to interact with peers, make new connections and talk ...
(Date:2/16/2017)...  ArmaGen, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company ... neurological disorders, today reported preliminary evidence of cognitive ... investigational therapy for the treatment of Hurler and ... or MPS I). The initial results from an ... at the 13 th annual WORLD Symposium ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... February 16, 2017 Patient ... of innovative telemedicine application, new and leading edge ... experiencing a boom worldwide. The healthcare sector as ... technologies, services and new therapies for companies such ... RHT), Cellectar Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLRB ...
Breaking Biology Technology: