News International Sugar Journal

Identification of a gene in rice plants for xylan will support increased cellulosic biofuels productivity [Registered]

After cellulose, xylan is the most abundant biomass material on Earth, and therefore represents an enormous potential source of stored solar energy for the production of advance biofuels. A major roadblock, however, has been extracting xylan from plant cell walls. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have taken a significant step towards removing this roadblock by identifying a gene in rice plants whose suppression improves both the extraction of xylan and the overall release of the sugars needed to make biofuels. The newly identified gene – dubbed XAX1 – acts to make xylan less…

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