Iain Donnison

Iain Donnison
Aberystwyth University | AU · Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS)

PhD

About

262
Publications
39,904
Reads
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7,216
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2008 - December 2013
Aberystwyth University
November 1994 - April 2008
BBSRC Institute of Grassland & Environmental Research
Position
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
February 1993 - November 1994

Publications

Publications (262)
Technical Report
Full-text available
The concept of marginal land has been broadly applied, yet a generalised understanding and knowledge of marginal land in terms of concept, assessment, and management are limited and diverse. The definition of marginal land and assessment methods vary across time, space and discipline to meet multiple management goals. In this report we explore curr...
Article
Biomass gasification remains an attractive option to impact climate chaos; however, the technology presents challenges in tolerance to feedstock variability and tar production, which can limit the overall process efficiency, gasifier performance, durability and downstream syngas utilisation. The primary objectives of this study were to compare two...
Poster
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Improved genetic transformation of Miscanthus sinensis
Article
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The challenges of feeding an increasing population, an increasingly urban population and within an increasingly challenging global environment have focused ideas on new ways to grow food. Growing food in a controlled environment (CE) is not new but new technologies such as broad-spectrum LEDs and robotics are generating new opportunities. Growth re...
Article
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Miscanthus sacchariflorus (Maxim.) Hack. is a highly productive C4 perennial rhizomatous biofuel grass crop. M. sacchariflorus is among the most widely distributed species in the genus, particularly at cold northern latitudes, and is one of the progenitor species of the commercial M. × giganteus genotypes. We generated a 2.54 Gb whole-genome assemb...
Article
Full-text available
Flowering in perennial species is directed via complex signalling pathways that adjust to developmental regulations and environmental cues. Synchronized flowering in certain environments is a prerequisite to commercial seed production, and so the elucidation of the genetic architecture of flowering time in Miscanthus and switchgrass could aid breed...
Article
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Pigmented food are an important part of the human diet, and anthocyanins have demonstrable protection against tumor production in mouse models and beneficial effects on human liver chemistry. As such, producing pigmented crops is important for a nutritionally diverse diet. Lollo rosso lettuce is a fast-growing pigmented plant, is rich in phenolic c...
Article
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Miscanthus is a perennial wild grass that is of global importance for paper production, roofing, horticultural plantings, and an emerging highly productive temperate biomass crop. We report a chromosome-scale assembly of the paleotetraploid M. sinensis genome, providing a resource for Miscanthus that links its chromosomes to the related diploid Sor...
Article
Changes in agricultural practices and land abandonment across less favoured areas have led to an increase in land management for nature conservation. Substantial areas of vegetation are cut annually for habitat management, but the conservation biomass generated is generally discarded. Samples of two types of conservation biomass harvested from marg...
Preprint
Full-text available
BACKGROUND: Miscanthus is a commercial lignocellulosic biomass crop owing to its high biomass productivity and low chemical input requirements. Interspecific Miscanthus hybrids with high biomass yield were shown to have low concentrations of starch and sucrose but high concentrations of fructose. We performed a transcriptional RNA-seq analysis betw...
Article
Full-text available
Miscanthus is a high yielding perennial grass capable of high biomass yields with low inputs. Traits associated with yield have been identified in miscanthus, but less is known about the traits associated with sustaining biomass production under drought stress. The commercial hybrid M. × giganteus and high yielding examples from the parental specie...
Preprint
Full-text available
Miscanthus is a commercial lignocellulosic biomass crop owing to its high biomass productivity and low chemical input requirements. Interspecific Miscanthus hybrids with high biomass yield were shown to have low concentrations of starch and sucrose but high concentrations of fructose. We performed a transcriptional RNA-seq analysis between selected...
Article
Full-text available
When considering the large scale deployment of bioenergy crops it is important to understand the implication for ecosystem hydrological processes and the influences of crop type and location. Based on potential for future land use change (LUC) the 10,280 km² West Wales Water Framework Directive River Basin District (UK) was selected as a typical gr...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims: Bioenergy crops are central to climate mitigation strategies that utilize biogenic carbon, such as BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage), alongside the use of biomass for heat, power, liquid fuels and, in the future, biorefining to chemicals. Several promising lignocellulosic crops are emerging that have no food ro...
Article
Full-text available
Miscanthus, a C4 perennial grass native to Eastern Asia, is being bred to provide biomass for bioenergy and biorenewable products. Commercial expansion with the clonal hybrid M. × giganteus is limited by low multiplication rates, high establishment costs and drought sensitivity. These limitations can be overcome by breeding more resilient Miscanthu...
Article
This paper reviews plant-inspired biomimicry for novel materials applied within architecture and building elements. Bioinspiration is considered at a materials level, and examples explored through increasing scale, towards elements and components for application at the building level in new designs and approaches. The review of plant biology mechan...
Article
Full-text available
Soil organic carbon (SOC) is an important carbon pool susceptible to land use change. There are concerns that converting grasslands to the C4 bioenergy crop Miscanthus (to meet demands for renewable energy) could negatively impact SOC, resulting in reductions of greenhouse gas mitigation benefits gained from using Miscanthus as a fuel. This work ad...
Article
Full-text available
High yielding perennial grasses are utilised as biomass for the bioeconomy and to displace fossil fuels. Many such grasses, including Miscanthus, are largely undomesticated. The main Miscanthus crop is a naturally occurring hydrid M. × giganteus (Mxg). All above ground biomass from Miscanthus is harvested. Stem traits correlate strongly with yield...
Article
Full-text available
Global energy problems, rise in CO2 emissions and their implications on climate change are well documented. Renewable energy provides a crucial role in reducing these emissions whilst providing sustainable energy; energy conversion of biomass forms a valuable part of a renewable energy portfolio, with capability for baseload provision, and gas and...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims: Germplasm with diverse, agronomically relevant traits forms the foundation of a successful plant breeding programme. Since 1993, the United Nations has been advocating the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the subsequent 2002 Bonn Guidelines as international best practice on germplasm collectio...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Miscanthus has potential as a biomass crop but the development of varieties that are consistently superior to the natural hybrid M. × giganteus has been challenging, presumably because of strong G × E interactions and poor knowledge of the complex genetic architectures of traits underlying biomass productivity and climatic adaptation....
Article
Full-text available
An increase in renewable energy and the planting of perennial bioenergy crops is expected in order to meet global greenhouse gas (GHG) targets. Nitrous oxide (N 2O) is a potent greenhouse gas, and this paper addresses a knowledge gap concerning soil N2O emissions over the possible ?hotspot? of?land-use conversion from established pasture to the bio...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic improvement through breeding is one of the key approaches to increasing biomass supply. This paper documents the breeding progress to date for four perennial biomass crops (PBCs) that have high output‐input energy ratios: namely Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), species of the genera Miscanthus (miscanthus), Salix (willow) and Populus (poplar...
Article
Threats to global food security have generated the need for novel food production techniques to feed an ever-expanding population with ever-declining land resources. Hydroponic cultivation has been long recognised as a reliable, resilient and resource-use-efficient alternative to soil-based agricultural practices. The aspiration for highly efficien...
Article
Full-text available
Decarbonization of the world's energy supply is essential to meet the targets of the 2016 Paris climate change agreement. One promising opportunity is the utilization of second generation, low input bioenergy crops such as Miscanthus and Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) willow. Research has previously been carried out on the greenhouse gas (GHG) balanc...
Data
Table S1. Summary of scenarios in publications on soil N2O emissions from perennial bioenergy crops underlying Fig. 1. Table S2. Annual average (mean) N2O emissions [Mg N2O ha−1 yr−1, mean ± SE (n)] calculated for four feedstocks individually. Appendix S1. Method for calculation of net greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity for four biofuel production sc...
Article
Full-text available
The bioenergy crop Miscanthus x giganteus has a high water demand to quickly increase biomass with rapid canopy closure and effective rainfall interception, traits that are likely to impact on hydrology in land use change. Evapotranspiration (ET, the combination of plant and ground surface transpiration and evaporation) forms an important part of t...
Article
Full-text available
A number of innovations in building envelope technologies have been implemented recently, for example, to improve insulation and air tightness to reduce energy consumption. However, growing concern over the embodied energy and carbon as well as resource depletion, is beginning to impact on the design and implementation of existing and novel buildin...
Article
Full-text available
Perennial bioenergy crops have significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribute to climate change mitigation by substituting for fossil fuels; yet delivering significant GHG savings will require substantial land-use change, globally. Over the last decade, research has delivered improved understanding of the environmenta...
Article
Full-text available
Miscanthus has potential as a bioenergy crop but the rapid development of high-yielding varieties is challenging. Previous studies have suggested that phenology and canopy height are important determinants of biomass yield. Furthermore, while genome-wide prediction was effective for a broad range of traits, the predictive ability for yield was very...
Article
Full-text available
Background Bioethanol production from sustainable sources of biomass that limit effect on food production are needed and in a biorefinery approach co-products are desirable, obtained from both the plant material and from the microbial biomass. Fungal biotransformation of steroids was among the first industrial biotransformations allowing corticoste...
Data
Table S3. Cell wall composition in a mixed population (a) and mapping family (b). All carbohydrates are in mg g−1 DW. Statistics show differences between all genotypes from anova (P =≤ 0.05). N = 3, ±SE.
Data
Table S6. NSC composition in the complete mapping family in 2014.
Data
Table S5. Carbohydrate predictors of biomass traits selected by CfsSubsetEval (in the Weka software) for each of the machine learning models in Table 2.
Data
Table S1. Biomass traits in the mixed population (a) and mapping family (b). The population consisted of M. sinensis (Sin), Hybrids (Hyb) and M. sacchariflorus (Sac) and the mapping family were all hybrids (M. sacchariflorus × M. sinensis) except a single M. sinensis genotype, Goliath. Statistics show differences between genotypes from anova (P =≤...
Data
Table S2. NSC composition in the mixed population (a) and mapping family (b). All carbohydrates are in mg g−1 DW. Statistics show differences between all genotypes from anova (P =≤ 0.05). N = 3, ±SE.
Data
Table S4. Block effects across the two trials. For the mixed population N = 18 and for the mapping family N = 19. Statistics (F Pr) show the results of a one‐way anova with block as a treatment factor (Significant differences = ≤ 0.05).
Data
Table S1. Predicted means for N, P, K, Na, ash, and MC from REML Genotype and Harvest analysis at available flowering states (flowered vs. non‐flowered) for diverse Miscanthus gentoypes from trait trial in Aberystwyth (Wales, UK). Genotype LM1 is Miscanthus × giganteus. Table S2. Correlation matrices between nitrogen, sodium, potassium, phosphorus...
Article
Full-text available
Nature has provided humankind with food, fuel, and shelter throughout evolutionary history. However, in contemporary cities, many natural landscapes have become degraded and replaced with impermeable hard surfaces (e.g., roads, paving, car parks and buildings). The reversal of this trend is dynamic, complex and still in its infancy. There are many...
Chapter
Gasification is a favourable technology for distributed power generation. However, commercialisation and scale up have been hampered by problems associated with tar formation. Tars are detrimental to operational efficiency as they can condense downstream initiating corrosion and blockages, thus resulting in a reduction in an overall yield during th...
Article
Full-text available
Fodder maize is the most commonly used crop for biogas production owing to its high yields, high concentrations of starch and good digestibility. However, environmental concerns and possible future conflict with land for food production may limit its long-term use. The bioenergy grass, Miscanthus, is a high yielding perennial that can grow on margi...
Article
Full-text available
In perennial energy crop breeding programmes it can take several years before a mature yield is reached when potential new varieties can be scored. Modern plant breeding technologies have focussed on molecular markers but for many crop species this technology is unavailable. Therefore, pre-maturity predictors of harvestable yield would accelerate t...
Article
Full-text available
Urban planning is a vital process in determining the functionality of future cities. It is predicted that at least two thirds of the world?s citizens will reside in towns and cities by the middle of this century, up from one third in the middle of the previous century. Not only is it essential to provide space for work and dwelling, but also for th...
Article
4-Nitrophenyl ferulate and 4-nitrophenyl coumarate have been synthesised as chromogenic substrates for measurement of the activity of feruloyl esterases. These enzymes have been isolated from a number of fungi and are found in micro-organisms involved in the degradation of plant material. Ferulic and para-coumaric acid were coupled with 4-nitrophen...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes the complete findings of the EU-funded research project OPTIMISC, which investigated methods to optimize the production and use of miscanthus biomass. Miscanthus bioenergy and bioproduct chains were investigated by trialing fifteen diverse germplasm types in a range of climatic and soil environments across central Europe, Ukrai...
Chapter
Gasification is a favourable technology for distributed power generation. However, commercialisation and scale up have been hampered by problems associated with tar formation. Tars are detrimental to operational efficiency as they can condense downstream initiating corrosion and blockages, thus resulting in a reduction in an overall yield during th...
Article
Waste biomass is generated during the conservation management of semi-natural habitats, and represents an unused resource and potential bioenergy feedstock that does not compete with food production. Thermogravimetric analysis was used to characterise a representative range of biomass generated during conservation management in Wales. Of the biomas...
Article
In commercially grown Miscanthus x giganteus, despite imposing a yield penalty, post-winter harvests improve quality criteria for thermal conversion and crop sustainability through remobilisation of nutrients to the underground rhizome. We examined 16 Miscanthus genotypes with different flowering and senescence times for variation in N, P, K, moist...
Article
Full-text available
Conversion of large areas of agricultural grassland is inevitable if European and UK domestic production of biomass is to play a significant role in meeting demand. Understanding the impact of these land-use changes on soil carbon cycling and stocks depends on accurate predictions from well-parameterized models. Key considerations are cultivation d...
Poster
Full-text available
A major part of international agreements on combating climate change is the conversion from a fossil fuel economy to low carbon economy. Bioenergy crops have been proposed as a way to improve energy security while reducing CO2 emissions to help mitigate the effects of climate change. However, the effects of land use change from a traditional land u...
Article
Full-text available
With growing interest in the role of microbiomes, and symbionts in particular, the aim of this study was to determine the diversity of the bacterial endophyte population within Miscanthus and to ascertain the extent of vertical transmission via the seed. A great diversity of endophytic bacteria was found in all parts of the mature plant (rhizome, r...
Article
Full-text available
Field trials in Europe with Miscanthus over the past 25 years have demonstrated that interspecies hybrids such as M. x giganteus (Mxg) combine both high yield potentials and low inputs in a wide range of soils and climates. Miscanthus hybrids are expected to play a major role in the provision of perennial lignocellulosic biomass across much of Euro...
Article
Full-text available
Grassland agriculture is experiencing a number of threats including declining profitability and loss of area to other land uses including expansion of the built environment as well as from cropland and forestry. The use of grassland as a natural resource either in terms of existing vegetation and land cover or planting of new species for bioenergy...
Article
Full-text available
Miscanthus is a genus of C4 perennial grasses capable of high biomass potential even in temperate regions making it an ideal industrial crop for the renewable supply of energy and chemicals. Yield is strongly linked to water availability and many environments have limited water supply where otherwise irradiation and temperature are favourable. A to...