Pamela Ronald and a team of researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have engineered plants with inhibited expression of snl6, a cinnamoyl-CoA reductase-like (CCR-like) gene. As a result, the JBEI plants have reduced lignin or phenolic compounds compared to wild type plants and yield an increase of up to 10 percent of sugar extracted. The JBEI technology can be applied to a wide range of plants including rice, miscanthus, switchgrass, sugarcane, sugar beet, sorghum and corn, among others.
In addition, the JBEI-engineered plants are developmentally normal. Until now, plants with decreased lignin content have exhibited defects such as reduced size or sturdiness that made them unsuitable biofuel feedstocks.
Lignin significantly hinders the extraction of sugars from plant cells walls for saccharification, a key step in the production of biofuels from cellulosic biomass. The JBEI-engineered plants present less lignin or phenolics than control plants and lack the defects of other engineered species making them a superior biofuel feedstock.
The Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI, www.jbei.org) is a scientific partnership led by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and including the Sandia National Laboratories, the University of California campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. JBEI's primary scientific mission is to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels.
|United States Of America||Published Application||20130160161||06/20/2013||2010-074|
biofuel feedstock, biofuel feedstock plant, snl6, snl7, cinnamoyl-CoA reductase-like gene, CCR-like gene, reduced lignin, efficient saccharification, increase saccharification, engineered feedstock plant, rice, miscanthus, switchgrass, sugarcane, sugar beet, sorghum, Pamela Ronald, Pam Ronald, JBEI, energy crops, Joint BioEnergy Institute