(675a) GLBRC Research Aimed at Improving Plant Biomass for Biofuels Generation
AIChE Annual Meeting
Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 3:15pm to 3:40pm
Plants use the energy from sunlight to fix carbon dioxide and generate a number of energy rich molecules that are incorporated into cell walls (polysaccharides and lignin) as well as used for energy storage (eg. triacylglycerides). Researchers at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) are pursuing fundamental research that will allow for the engineering and breeding of bioenergy crop plants with increased amounts of easily accessible and convertible polysaccharides, and that accumulate energy-dense oils in vegetative tissues. This presentation will highlight Center efforts to 1) engineer lignin to contain zips that can readily be chemically cleaved thereby releasing cell wall polysaccharides for saccharification and fermentation; 2) identify genes and gene variants affecting polysaccharide composition, accumulation, and enzymatic digestibility; and 3) engineer plants to synthesize and retain up to 20% oil in vegetative tissues such as leaves, stems, and tubers.