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Current Lignin News and Events, Lignin News Articles.
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Key plant traits yield more sugar for biofuels
New clues about plant structure are helping researchers from the DOE's BioEnergy Science Center narrow down a large collection of poplar tree candidates and identify winners for future use in biofuel production. (2011-03-29)

Overfertilizing corn undermines ethanol
A new paper in today's online edition of the American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science and Technology shows how farmers can save money on fertilizer while they improve their production of feedstock for ethanol and alleviate damage to the environment. (2011-02-25)

New lignin 'lite' switchgrass boosts biofuel yield by more than one-third
Bioethanol from new lines of native perennial prairie grass could become less costly because of plant engineering by the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and fermentation research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (2011-02-14)

Seaweed as biofuel? Metabolic engineering makes it a viable option
Is red seaweed a viable future biofuel? Now that a University of Illinois metabolic engineer has developed a strain of yeast that can make short work of fermenting galactose, the answer is an unequivocal yes. Yong-Su Jin and his colleagues have recently identified three genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the microbe most often used to ferment the sugars, whose overexpression increased galactose fermentation by 250 percent when compared to a control strain. (2010-12-15)

Scientists unravel more details of plant cell-wall construction
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory are unraveling details of how plant cells' structural supports - their cell walls -- are made, with the hope of finding ways to change their composition for more efficient biofuel production. (2010-12-13)

Gene find could lead to healthier food, better biofuel production
Purdue University scientists have found the last undiscovered gene responsible for the production of the amino acid phenylalanine, a discovery that could lead to processes to control the amino acid to boost plants' nutritional values and produce better biofuel feedstocks. (2010-11-22)

A wiki for the biofuels research community
Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute have created an on-line wiki-based technoeconomic model that should help accelerate the development of clean, green biofuels that can compete with gasoline. The model enables researchers to pursue the most promising strategies for cost-efficient biorefinery operations. (2010-10-28)

Neutrons helping ORNL researchers unlock secrets to cheaper ethanol
New insight into the structure of switchgrass and poplars is fueling discussions that could result in more efficient methods to turn biomass into biofuel. (2010-09-15)

University of Illinois receives $1.2 million grant to accelerate feedstocks research
A $1.2 million US Department of Energy grant will help University of Illinois researchers accelerate genetic breeding programs to create plants better suited for bioenergy production. (2010-09-09)

Swine researchers seek answers to fiber's low digestibility
As interest grows in feeding distillers dried grains with solubles to growing pigs, many questions are being asked about the digestibility of this alternative feed option. (2010-09-08)

Wood's 'noble rot' fungus genetically decoded
An international team including Empa researcher Francis Schwarze has sequenced the genome of the common split gill mushroom, Schizophyllum commune, a widely distributed fungus which grows on and decomposes wood. It is this ability which Schwarze, together with other colleagues, has exploited to improve the tonal qualities of wood used to make violins. (2010-07-19)

Drilling down to the nanometer depths of leaves for biofuels
By imaging the cell walls of a zinnia leaf down to the nanometer scale, energy researchers have a better idea about how to turn plants into biofuels. A team from Lawrence Livermore led by Michael Thelen, in collaboration with researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has used four different imaging techniques to systematically drill down deep into the cells of Zinnia elegans. (2010-07-19)

Breaking biomass better
The US Department of Energy is funding several projects focused on identifying enzymes in organisms such as fungi that degrade cellulosic feedstocks. The DOE Joint Genome Institute previously sequenced and published the genomes of two wood-decaying fungi. The genome of a third wood-decaying fungus was published online July 11 in Nature Biotechnology by a team of researchers led by scientists from the DOE JGI and the University of Utrecht. (2010-07-12)

First of its kind: WSU led Bio-Jet fuel project officially gets off the ground
A major Washington State University effort to develop aviation bio-fuel is underway with the announcement of a strategic initiative called the (2010-07-12)

New technique improves efficiency of biofuel production
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a more efficient technique for producing biofuels from woody plants that significantly reduces the waste that results from conventional biofuel production techniques. The technique is a significant step toward creating a commercially viable new source of biofuels. (2010-06-30)

Ph.D. thesis opens doors to obtaining chemical products and materials using biomass as raw material
Chemical products, energy sources, oils, paints, and more ... from biomass as a raw material many more things than might be thought can be obtained. Aware of this, engineer Maria Gonzalez looked for the most appropriate types of biomass as well as the most suitable processing techniques and technologies for refining them. (2010-06-03)

Protein power for Jack and the beanstalk
A recent publication in the journal PLoS Biology from Prof. Shaul Yalovsky of Tel Aviv University describes a special protein, the ICR1, found to control the way auxin moves throughout a plant affecting its development. When this protein is genetically engineered into valuable biofuel crops such as corn, sugarcane or experimentals like switchgrass, farmers can expect to get a far larger yield than what they harvest today, Prof. Yalovsky has found. (2010-05-17)

Convergent evolution in lignin biosynthesis: Tools for re-engineering biomass composition
The plant cell wall component lignin, a complex phenolic polymer, is valued for its energy content, but inhibits biomass breakdown for cellulosic ethanol. In research published in the Plant Cell, investigators identify an alternative pathway for synthesis of syringyl lignin in the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii. This pathway, a likely example of convergent evolution, could be used to alter lignin composition in transgenic plants. (2010-04-06)

Second plant pathway could improve nutrition, biofuel production
Purdue University scientists have defined a hidden second option plants have for making an essential amino acid that could be the first step in boosting plants' nutritional value and improving biofuel production potential. (2010-03-31)

American Society for Microbiology honors Caroline S. Harwood
The 2010 American Society for Microbiology Procter & Gamble Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology is being presented to Caroline S. Harwood, Ph.D., Gerald and Lyn Grinstein Professor of Microbiology, the University of Washington, Seattle, for being a leader in biodegradation. This award recognizes distinguished achievement in research and development in applied and environmental microbiology. (2010-03-04)

Kent State University professors focus research on the environment with grants totaling $890,000
Two Kent State University assistant professors recently received funding from the National Science Foundation to continue research beneficial to understanding the environment. The three grants total $890,000. (2009-11-25)

Public University of Navarre draws up first map of chromosome terminals of higher fungi
A doctor in biology from the UPNA, Gúmer Pérez Garrido studied and described for the first time how the telomeres and adjacent sequences of the oyster fungus are organized. (2009-11-19)

Improved adhesive for products like transparent tape could benefit biofuels economy
A Kansas State University researcher said that developing bio-based adhesives to replace environmentally hazardous materials also could produce high-value products needed to sustain the biofuels economy. (2009-10-29)

Popping the cork on biofuel agriculture
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified a novel enzyme responsible for the formation of suberin -- the woody, waxy, cell-wall substance found in cork. Adjusting the permeability of plant tissues by genetically manipulating the expression of this enzyme could lead to easier agricultural production of crops used for biofuels. (2009-10-19)

NC State receives NSF grant to discover plant 'switchboards'
A new four-year, $3.72 million grant to North Carolina State University will allow researchers to shed light on an important mystery -- how genes impact the type and amount of (2009-09-03)

New technique can fast-track better ionic liquids for biomass pre-treatments
Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute are using the natural auto-fluorescence of plant cell walls to dynamically track how ionic liquids are able to dissolve lignocellulose into fermentable sugars for the production of advanced biofuels. (2009-07-10)

Queen's scientists discover eco-friendly wood dissolution
Scientists at Queen's University have discovered a new eco-friendly way of dissolving wood that may help its transformation into popular products such as biofuels, textiles, clothes and paper. (2009-05-20)

Center to investigate plant cells for better biomass fuels
Cutting edge approaches and methodology employed by plant and molecular biologists, chemists, physicists, material scientists, computational modelers and engineers will be applied to plant cells in the newly funded Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation, a US Department of Energy, Energy Frontier Research Center at Penn State. (2009-04-29)

Genome sequencing of fungus with biotechnological applications
Researchers Antonio G. Pisabarro (professor of microbiology) as well as José Luis Lavín and José Antonio Oguiza, from the Genetic and Microbiology Group at the Public University of Navarre, have taken part in the international project for the sequencing of the genome of the Postia placenta fungus. (2009-02-27)

Two-step chemical process turns raw biomass into biofuel
Taking a chemical approach, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a two-step method to convert the cellulose in raw biomass into a promising biofuel. The process, which is described in the Wednesday, Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, is unprecedented in its use of untreated, inedible biomass as the starting material. (2009-02-10)

Rot's unique wood degrading machinery to be harnessed for better biofuels production
An international team led by scientists from the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory have translated the genetic code that explains the complex biochemical machinery making brown-rot fungi uniquely destructive to wood. The same processes that provide easier access to the energy-rich sugar molecules bound up in the plant's tenacious architecture are leading to innovations for the biofuels industry. (2009-02-05)

Biggest ever public investment in bioenergy to help provide clean, green and sustainable fuels
The biggest ever single UK public investment in bioenergy research has been announced today, Jan.27, by the main funding agency for the biosciences, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. (2009-01-27)

Billion-year revision of plant evolution timeline may stem from discovery of lignin in seaweed
Land plants' ability to sprout upward through the air, unsupported except by their own woody tissues, has long been considered one of the characteristics separating them from aquatic plants, which rely on water to support them. (2009-01-27)

Modified plants may yield more biofuel
Plants, genetically modified to ease the breaking down of their woody material, could be the key to a cheaper and greener way of making ethanol, according to researchers who add that the approach could also help turn agricultural waste into food for livestock. (2008-12-22)

Toys made of liquid wood
Most plastics are based on petroleum. A bio-plastic that consists of one hundred percent renewable raw materials helps to conserve this resource. Researchers have now optimized the plastic in such a way that it is even suitable for products such as Nativity figurines. (2008-12-02)

Rainforest fungus makes diesel
A unique fungus that makes diesel compounds has been discovered living in trees in the rainforest, according to a paper published in the November issue of Microbiology. The fungus is potentially a totally new source of green energy and scientists are now working to develop its fuel producing potential. (2008-11-03)

Novel fungus helps beetles to digest hard wood
A little known fungus tucked away in the gut of Asian longhorned beetles helps the insect munch through the hardest of woods according to a team of entomologists and biochemists. Researchers say the discovery could lead to innovative methods of controlling the invasive pest, and potentially offer more efficient ways of breaking down plant biomass for generating biofuels. (2008-08-18)

DOE JGI Director Eddy Rubin highlights the genomics of plant-based biofuels in the journal Nature
Genomics is accelerating improvements for converting plant biomass into biofuel -- as an alternative to fossil fuel for the nation's transportation needs, reports Eddy Rubin, Director of the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, in the Aug. 14 edition of Nature. Rubin lays out a path forward for how emerging genomic technologies will contribute to a substantially different biofuels future as compared to the present corn-based ethanol industry -- and in part mitigate the food-versus-fuel debate. (2008-08-13)

New research reveals why chili peppers are hot
Despite the popularity of spicy cuisine among Homo sapiens, the hotness in chili peppers has always been something of an evolutionary mystery. (2008-08-11)

When plants 'think' alike
Biologists have discovered that a fundamental building block in the cells of flowering plants evolved independently, yet almost identically, on a separate branch of the evolutionary tree -- in an ancient plant group called lycophytes that originated at least 420 million years ago. (2008-05-27)

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