News International Sugar Journal

Lignin reduced transgenic switchgrass boosts biofuel production [Registered]

Switchgrass is a leading dedicated bioenergy feedstock in the United States because it is a native, high-yielding, perennial prairie grass with a broad cultivation range and low agronomic input requirements. Biomass conversion research has developed processes for production of ethanol and other biofuels, but they remain costly primarily because of the intrinsic recalcitrance of biomass. In a paper titled “Genetic manipulation of lignin reduces recalcitrance and improves ethanol production from switchgrass,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (on 14 February ’11), researchers describe their transgenic version of switchgrass with reduced lignin content that produces about one-third…

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