News International Sugar Journal

Researchers engineer plant cell walls to boost sugar yields for cellulosic biofuels [Registered]

In the production of cellulosic biofuels, a significant challenge is to cost effectively extract sugars from lignocellulosic feedstocks. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have claimed to have made a breakthrough in engineering healthy plants whose lignocellulosic biomass can more easily be broken down into simple sugars for biofuels. Working with the model plant, Arabidopsis, the researchers have genetically manipulated secondary cell walls to reduce the production of lignin while increasing the yield of fuel sugars. The lead researcher Dominique Loque, who directs the cell wall engineering program for JBEI’s Feedstocks Division, has focused…

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