Plants to power: bioenergy to fuel the Future. Trends Plant Sci

Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA.
Trends in Plant Science (Impact Factor: 12.93). 08/2008; 13(8):421-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2008.06.001
Source: PubMed


Bioenergy should play an essential part in reaching targets to replace petroleum-based transportation fuels with a viable alternative, and in reducing long-term carbon dioxide emissions, if environmental and economic sustainability are considered carefully. Here, we review different platforms, crops, and biotechnology-based improvements for sustainable bioenergy. Among the different platforms, there are two obvious advantages to using lignocellulosic biomass for ethanol production: higher net energy gain and lower production costs. However, the use of lignocellulosic ethanol as a viable alternative to petroleum-based transportation fuels largely depends on plant biotechnology breakthroughs. We examine how biotechnology, such as lignin modification, abiotic stress resistance, nutrition usage, in planta expression of cell wall digestion enzymes, biomass production, feedstock establishment, biocontainment of transgenes, metabolic engineering, and basic research, can be used to address the challenges faced by bioenergy crop production.

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    • "Plant height (PH) is positively correlated with biomass yield in maize and sorghum (Lubberstedt et al. 1997; Murray et al. 2008; Ritter et al. 2008). The correlation between flowering time (FT) and PH, as well the correlation of FT with other morphological traits related to above-ground biomass production such as total leaf number through the timing of vegetative to reproductive transition in maize, suggests that FT has the potential to impact biomass yield (Irish and Nelson 1991; Yuan et al. 2008). Due to this relationship, both PH and FT were chosen as model traits for this study. "
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    ABSTRACT: Delayed transition from the vegetative to the reproductive stage of development and increased plant height have been shown to increase biomass productivity in grasses. The goal of this project was to detect quantitative trait loci using extremes from a large synthetic population, as well as a related recombinant inbred line mapping population for these two traits. Ten thousand individuals from a B73 x Mo17 non-inbred population intermated for fourteen generations (IBM Syn14) were grown at a density of approximately 16,500 plants ha(-1). Flowering time and plant height were measured within this population. DNA was pooled from the 46 most extreme individuals from each distributional tail for each of the traits measured, and used in Bulk Segregant Analysis (BSA)-sequencing. Allelic divergence at each of the ~1.1 million SNP loci was estimated as the difference in allele frequencies between the selected extremes. Additionally, 224 Intermated B73 x Mo17 recombinant inbred lines were concomitantly grown at a similar density adjacent to the large synthetic population and were assesed for flowering time and plant height. Using the BSA-sequencing method, fourteen and thirteen genomic regions were identified for flowering time and plant height, respectively. Linkage mapping with the RIL population identified eight and three regions for flowering time and plant height, respectively. Of the regions identified, three colocalized between the two populations for flowering time and two colocalized for plant height. This study demonstrates the utility of using BSA-sequencing for the dissection of complex quantitative traits important for production of lignocellulosic ethanol. Copyright © 2015 Author et al.
    G3-Genes Genomes Genetics 06/2015; 5(8). DOI:10.1534/g3.115.017665 · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    • "In addition, biodiesel can be produced from oil plants or oil-rich microalgae (Chisti, 2008). Despite substantial progresses, these biofuel platforms have several limitations including the energy output per land area, the compatibility with current fuel infrastructures and the insufficient capacity to meet Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for petroleum replacement (Chuck and Donnelly, 2014; Yuan et al., 2008b). "
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    • "and Miscanthus spp.), therefore, are expected to be grown on degraded lands as raw material crops for bioethanol instead of edible energy crops (e.g. sugar cane, maize and cassava) [3] [9]-[14]. Erianthus species which have been used as genetic resources for breeding sugarcane [15]-[18] and as potential forage crops [16] [19] might be potential raw crops for bioethanol [11] [12] [20], because they have huge biomass as well as high tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, such as drought, waterlogging, and soil hardness. Although morphological and anatomical characteristics of roots have possible relation to tolerance of the plant to such environmental stresses [21]-[31], there has been quite limited information on their roots. "
    American Journal of Plant Sciences 01/2015; 06(01):103-112. DOI:10.4236/ajps.2015.61012
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