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Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from All About Algae
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A breakthrough in making biofuel from seaweed | Energy | EarthSky

A breakthrough in making biofuel from seaweed | Energy | EarthSky | plantmpmi | Scoop.it
A unit of seaweed contains more potential ethanol than corn or switchgrass. A new technology helps to further the wide-scale use of seaweed for biofuels.

Via Algae Observer
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Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from Trinity River Basin
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Wild Wonderings: Why Native Grasses?

Wild Wonderings: Why Native Grasses? | plantmpmi | Scoop.it

In recent years there have been an increasing number of incentives available to Texas landowners for planting native, warm-season grasses Little and Big Bluestem, Sideoats Grama, and Indian Switchgrass) and restoring native prairies. The question from many folks is quite simple: why?


Via Trinity Waters
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Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from Plant Gene Seeker -PGS
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PLOS Genetics: Switchgrass Genomic Diversity, Ploidy, and Evolution: Novel Insights from a Network-Based SNP Discovery Protocol

PLOS Genetics: Switchgrass Genomic Diversity, Ploidy, and Evolution: Novel Insights from a Network-Based SNP Discovery Protocol | plantmpmi | Scoop.it
PLOS Genetics is an open-access

Via Andres Zurita
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Andres Zurita's curator insight, January 18, 2013 7:06 AM

Recent advances in sequencing technologies have enabled large-scale surveys of genetic diversity in model species with a wholly or partly sequenced reference genome. However, thousands of key species, which are essential for food, health, energy, and ecology, do not have reference genomes. To accelerate their breeding cycle via marker assisted selection, high-throughput genotyping is required for these valuable species, in spite of the absence of reference genomes. Based on genotyping by sequencing (GBS) technology, we developed a new single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery protocol, the Universal Network-Enabled Analysis Kit (UNEAK), which can be widely used in any species, regardless of genome complexity or the availability of a reference genome. Here we test this protocol on switchgrass, currently the prime energy crop species in the United States of America. In addition to the discovery of over a million SNPs and construction of high-density linkage maps, we provide novel insights into the genome complexity, ploidy, phylogeny, and evolution of switchgrass. This is only the beginning: we believe UNEAK offers the key to the exploration and exploitation of the genetic diversity of thousands of non-model species.

Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from PlantBioInnovation
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Overexpression of the maize Corngrass1 microRNA prevents flowering, improves digestibility, and increases starch content of switchgrass


Via Biswapriya Biswavas Misra
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Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's curator insight, February 7, 2013 2:26 AM
Abstract

Biofuels developed from biomass crops have the potential to supply a significant portion of our transportation fuel needs. To achieve this potential, however, it will be necessary to develop improved plant germplasm specifically tailored to serve as energy crops. Liquid transportation fuel can be created from the sugars locked inside plant cell walls. Unfortunately, these sugars are inherently resistant to hydrolytic release because they are contained in polysaccharides embedded in lignin. Overcoming this obstacle is a major objective toward developing sustainable bioenergy crop plants. The maize Corngrass1 (Cg1) gene encodes a microRNA that promotes juvenile cell wall identities and morphology. To test the hypothesis that juvenile biomass has superior qualities as a potential biofuel feedstock, the Cg1 gene was transferred into several other plants, including the bioenergy crop Panicum virgatum (switchgrass). Such plants were found to have up to 250% more starch, resulting in higher glucose release from saccharification assays with or without biomass pretreatment. In addition, a complete inhibition of flowering was observed in both greenhouse and field grown plants. These results point to the potential utility of this approach, both for the domestication of new biofuel crops, and for the limitation of transgene flow into native plant species.

 
Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from Plant Genomics
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Development of a genome-wide multiple duplex-SSR protocol and its applications for the identification of selfed progeny in switchgrass

Development of a genome-wide multiple duplex-SSR protocol and its applications for the identification of selfed progeny in switchgrass | plantmpmi | Scoop.it

Abstract (provisional)

Background

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a herbaceous crop for the cellulosic biofuel feedstock development in the USA and Europe. As switchgrass is a naturally outcrossing species, accurate identification of selfed progeny is important to producing inbreds, which can be used in the production of heterotic hybrids. Development of a technically reliable, time-saving and easily used marker system is needed to quantify and characterize breeding origin of progeny plants of targeted parents.

Results

Genome-wide screening of 915 mapped microsatellite (simple sequence repeat, SSR) markers was conducted, and 842 (92.0%) produced clear and scorable bands on a pooled DNA sample of eight switchgrass varieties. A total of 166 primer pairs were selected on the basis of their relatively even distribution in switchgrass genome and PCR amplification quality on 16 tetraploid genotypes. Mean polymorphic information content value for the 166 markers was 0.810 ranging from 0.116 to 0.959. From them, a core set of 48 loci, which had been mapped on 17 linkage groups, was further tested and optimized to develop 24 sets of duplex markers. Most of (up to 87.5%) targeted, but non-allelic amplicons within each duplex were separated by more than 10-bp. Using the established duplex PCR protocol, selfing ratio (i.e., selfed/all progeny x100%) was identified as 0% for a randomly selected open-pollinated 'Kanlow' genotype grown in the field, 15.4% for 22 field-grown plants of bagged inflorescences, and 77.3% for a selected plant grown in a growth chamber.

Conclusions

The study developed a duplex SSR-based PCR protocol consisting of 48 markers, providing ample choices of non-tightly-linked loci in switchgrass whole genome, and representing a powerful, time-saving and easily used method for the identification of selfed progeny in switchgrass. The protocol should be a valuable tool in switchgrass breeding efforts.

 


Via Biswapriya Biswavas Misra
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Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute
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Can Synthetic Biology Produce Cheaper Biofuel? Should It?

Can Synthetic Biology Produce Cheaper Biofuel? Should It? | plantmpmi | Scoop.it

"News out of Washington at year-end included an announcement from the Department of Energy (DOE) concerning a breakthrough at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) in which scientists have developed a methodology for creating “RNA machines” which can be used to enhance or express certain characteristics in a living organism.

This new capability is initially being used at JBEI to modify e-coli bacteria in such a way as to make them more efficient in their digestion of switchgrass, allowing them to convert released sugars into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel at lower cost...."


Via Gerd Moe-Behrens
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Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from Virology News
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Avoiding virus dangers in “domesticating” wild plants for biofuel use

Avoiding virus dangers in “domesticating” wild plants for biofuel use | plantmpmi | Scoop.it

In our ongoing quest for alternative energy sources, researchers are looking more to plants that grow in the wild for use in biofuels, plants such as switchgrass.

However, attempts to “domesticate” wild-growing plants have a downside, as it could make the plants more susceptible to any number of plant viruses.

In a presentation at this year’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Michigan State University plant biologist Carolyn Malmstrom said that when we start combining the qualities of different types of plants into one, there can be unanticipated results.


Via Ed Rybicki
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Ed Rybicki's curator insight, February 16, 2013 2:02 AM

Now THAT'S an interesting viewpoint - and points up the necessity for studying plant viruses and their interactions with their hosts.

Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from Plants and Microbes
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Cell Host & Microbe: A Receptor-like Cytoplasmic Kinase Targeted by a Plant Pathogen Effector Is Directly Phosphorylated by the Chitin Receptor and Mediates Rice Immunity (2013)

Cell Host & Microbe: A Receptor-like Cytoplasmic Kinase Targeted by a Plant Pathogen Effector Is Directly Phosphorylated by the Chitin Receptor and Mediates Rice Immunity (2013) | plantmpmi | Scoop.it

CERK1 is a lysine motif-containing plant pattern recognition receptor for chitin and peptidoglycan. Chitin recognition by OsCERK1 triggers rapid engagement of a rice MAP kinase cascade, which leads to defense response activation. How the MAP kinase cascades are engaged downstream of OsCERK1 remains obscure. Searching for host proteins that interact with Xoo1488, an effector of the rice pathogenXanthomonas oryzae, we identified the rice receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase, OsRLCK185. Silencing OsRLCK185 suppressed peptidoglycan- and chitin-induced immune responses, including MAP kinase activation and defense-gene expression. In response to chitin, OsRLCK185 associates with, and is directly phosphorylated by, OsCERK1 at the plasma membrane. Xoo1488 inhibits peptidoglycan- and chitin-induced immunity and pathogen resistance. Additionally, OsCERK1-mediated phosphorylation of OsRLCK185 is suppressed by Xoo1488, resulting in the inhibition of chitin-induced MAP kinase activation. These data support a role for OsRLCK185 as an essential immediate downstream signaling partner of OsCERK1 in mediating chitin- and peptidoglycan-induced plant immunity.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from Synthetic Biology
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E. Coli Bacteria Engineered to Eat Switchgrass and Make Transportation Fuels - Berkeley Lab News Center

E. Coli Bacteria Engineered to Eat Switchgrass and Make Transportation Fuels - Berkeley Lab News Center | plantmpmi | Scoop.it

Via Marko Dolinar
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Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from Plant Gene Seeker -PGS
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Manipulation of plant architecture to enhance lignocellulosic biomass

Background Biofuels hold the promise to replace an appreciable proportion of fossil fuels. Not only do they emit significantly lower amounts of greenhouse gases, they are much closer to being ‘carbon neutral’, since the source plants utilize carbon dioxide for their growth. In particular, second-generation lignocellulosic biofuels from agricultural wastes and non-food crops such as switchgrass promise sustainability and avoid diverting food crops to fuel. Currently, available lignocellulosic biomass could yield sufficient bioethanol to replace ∼10 % of worldwide petroleum use. Increasing the biomass used for biofuel production and the yield of bioethanol will thus help meet global energy demands while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Scope We discuss the advantages of various biotechnological approaches to improve crops and highlight the contribution of genomics and functional genomics in this field. Current knowledge concerning plant hormones and their intermediates involved in the regulation of plant architecture is presented with a special focus on gibberellins and cytokinins, and their signalling intermediates. We highlight the potential of information gained from model plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana and rice (Oryza sativa) to accelerate improvement of fuel crops.


Via Andres Zurita
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Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from Sustainable Technologies
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Algae Biofuels: The Next Green Bubble?

Algae Biofuels: The Next Green Bubble? | plantmpmi | Scoop.it
By Robert B. Laughlin

Nobel Laureate Robert B. Laughlin exposes the consequences and limitations of biofuels from manure and corn ethanol to switchgrass and algae.



It had to happen eventu...

Via Kalani Kirk Hausman
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Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from Sustainable Futures
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Which Biofuels Hold Promise for the Future?

Which Biofuels Hold Promise for the Future? | plantmpmi | Scoop.it

Oilprice.com:What is your favourite source of biofuel? There have been numerous articles and reports released about potential super biofuels such as Agave, Jatropha, Sorghum, switchgrass, etc… Which do you think hold the most promise for the future?

 

Jim Lane: It comes down to what is best for that locale - most cost effective and sustainable. It will vary. Having said that, marine biofuels looks interesting (e.g. seaweed) and direct conversion of brackish water, sequestered CO2 and water into biofuels are very exciting to contemplate.


Via Flora Moon
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Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from Ag Biotech News
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Genetically enhanced biofuel crops? Plants engineered to have increased levels of beta-1,4-galactan may enhance biofuel production - Sci Daily (2012)

Genetically enhanced biofuel crops? Plants engineered to have increased levels of beta-1,4-galactan may enhance biofuel production - Sci Daily (2012) | plantmpmi | Scoop.it

Best known for its ability to transform simmering pots of sugared fruit into marmalades and jams, pectin is a major constituent of plant cell walls and the middle lamella, the sticky layer that glues neighboring plant cells together. Pectin imparts strength and elasticity to the plant and forms a protective barrier against the environment. Several different kinds of pectic compounds combine to form pectin. The relative proportion of each of these depends on the plant species, location within the plant, and environment.

 

Pectic compounds decorated with β-1,4-galactan (a chain of six-carbon sugars) are of considerable interest to the biofuels industry, because six-carbon sugars are readily converted into ethanol (biofuel) by fermenting microorganisms. A new study published in The Plant Cell reveals a novel enzyme involved in the production of β-1,4-galactans. This enzyme may be used to engineer plants with more desirable attributes for conversion to biofuel... 

 

According to lead scientist Henrik Scheller, "Bioenergy crops with high β-1,4-galactan content would have significant advantages for the biofuels industry and we now have the knowledge to specifically increase β-1,4-galactan content in the biomass of cell walls... look forward to testing it in a bioenergy crop such as switchgrass or poplar trees."


Via Alexander J. Stein
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Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute
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E. Coli Bacteria Engineered to Eat Switchgrass and Make Transportation Fuels « Berkeley Lab News Center

E. Coli Bacteria Engineered to Eat Switchgrass and Make Transportation Fuels « Berkeley Lab News Center | plantmpmi | Scoop.it

Via Gerd Moe-Behrens
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Rescooped by Bingyu Zhao from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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Forbes: CRISPR-associated nuclease could change biotech forever

Forbes: CRISPR-associated nuclease could change biotech forever | plantmpmi | Scoop.it

"A tiny molecular machine used by bacteria to kill attacking viruses could change the way that scientists edit the DNA of plants, animals and fungi, revolutionizing genetic engineering."


Via Mary Williams
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