Plant biologists lead biobased-fuel research projects

September 14, 2010

ROCKVILLE, Md. - Members of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) are helping solve the nation's energy challenges through fundamental research into biofuels. All nine Plant Feedstocks Genomics for Bioenergy awards recently announced by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) were given to projects with ASPB members as key research personnel, including serving as principal investigator.

This DOE/USDA research program supports fundamental genomics investigations to enhance the use of plants as potential sources of fuels. Each of the projects will explore ways that the generally inedible portions of plants--the lignocellulosic biomass--can be used to produce biofuels. Projects funded this year will aim to enhance productivity, yield, nutrient and water utilization, and sustainability of plants as sources of biofuels. To meet these goals, researchers will seek to improve basic understanding of the way plants are structured, how they take up and use nutrients, and the impact of temperature and water.

A total of $8.9 million has been awarded to nine research teams:
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Additional information on each project is available on the DOE website (http://genomicscience.energy.gov/research/DOEUSDA/2010awards.shtml).ASPB is a professional scientific society, headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, devoted to the advancement of the plant sciences worldwide. With a membership of approximately 5,000 plant scientists from throughout the United States and more than 50 nations, the society publishes two of the most widely cited plant science journals: The Plant Cell and Plant Physiology. For more information about ASPB, please visit http://www.aspb.org/.

American Society of Plant Biologists

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