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:6/23/2017)... N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy research, ... with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances that ... With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell University ... Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a food ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... May 5, 2017 RAM Group ... a new breakthrough in biometric authentication based on ... mechanical properties to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors ... material created by Ram Group and its partners. This ... transportation, supply chains and security. Ram Group is ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through ... Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo portion of ... sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics within ... advanced design and manufacturing event will take place June ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/20/2017)... Station, TX (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Services, LLC (IPS), a leading global provider of engineering, architecture, project controls, ... provider of prefabricated cleanrooms, today announced the unveiling of the iCON™ brand ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... Foresight Institute, ... and other transformative technologies, announced the winners for the 2017 Foresight Institute Feynman ... Theory in nanotechnology/molecular manufacturing. , Established in 1993 and named in honor of ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... Philadelphia’s largest group of funded early-stage tech companies. “Grit” author Angela Duckworth and ... Also joining the ic@3401 community is Cooley, an international law firm with decades ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ValGenesis Inc., the global leader in Enterprise ... the strategic partnership with VTI Life Sciences (VTI). This ... using the latest technology available in the ValGenesis VLMS ... efficient and cost-effective validation services using ValGenesis VLMS. VTI ... VLMS system. The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: