MAS BioEnergy

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focus areas

Focus Areas

Mas BioEnergy

Crop Sciences and Plant Biotechnology

Although the “green revolution” has had a profound impact on food production, most of those crops are not well suited as the source of biomass for energy because they have focused on seed production rather carbon yield.

What traits are most desirable in new bioenergy crops?

  1. Production of mostly stem and leaf tissue to maximize cellulose production.
  2. Enhanced water use efficiency, nutrient use efficiency, and resistance to disease and herbivores to minimize inputs.
  3. Modify cell wall composition to make cellulose more easily available.

Integration with other focus areas
Linkages to projects in the other areas are an important aspect of our research. For example, economic analysis and life-cycle assessment forecasts could be performed on new crops as they are developed, or may even be used to provide targets for water usage rate or biomass productivity. As new modified plants are developed with cell walls of different composition and structure, or with the ability to be pre-digested, corresponding alterations in the biomass pre-treatment and hydrolysis procedures may be investigated.

MAS BioEnergy
National Science Foundation

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