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Abstract Detail

Bio-Energy Crops

Dong, Shujie [1], Li, Laigeng [2], Cheng, Jay [3], Chiang, Vincent [2], Burns, Joe [4], Qu, Rongda [5].

Switchgrass transformation for reduced lignin, increased cellulose content and improved ethanol production.

Switchgrass has a potential to be an important bioenergy crop because of its high biomass yield and cellulose content. The lignocellulosic material can be used for ethanol production through bioconversion . We intend to use genetic transformation to reduce its lignin content and increase its cellulose quantity to improve the efficiency of ethanol production from the crop.
Tissue culture conditions for switchgrass were optimized and highly regenerable callus lines were established. The Agrobacterium strain and the level of selection agent, hygromycin B, used for transformation and selection have been determined. Hyg B resistant, transgenic switchgrass plants were obtained. We are testing various factors for more efficient transformation.
In addition, a switchgrass cDNA library has been constructed and two cDNA clones of a gene involving in lignin biosynthesis have been obtained and analyzed. RNAi constructs are being made in attempt to obtain transgenic plants with reduced lignin.
Moreover, bioconversion of switchgrass for ethanol production is being evaluated. Microwave and alkaline pretreatments have been investigated for three different switchgrass varieties. Alkaline pretreatment with 1.0% NaOH was very effective in removing lignin and hemicellulose from the switchgrass. Microwave alone did not provide effective pretreatment, but the combination of microwave and alkaline showed a quick and effective removal of lignin and hemicellulose.

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Related Links:
switchgrass to ethanol

1 - NC State University, Crop Science, 1126 Williams Hall, Raleigh, NC, 27695, USA
2 - NC State University, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources
3 - NC Sate University, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
4 - NC State University, Department of Crop Science, USDA-ARS
5 - NC State University, Crop Science


Presentation Type: Plant Biology Abstract
Session: P
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: P03009
Abstract ID:2066

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