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Double-Sugar Gum: ArborGen modified eucalyptus trees release 2X sugars for biofuels conversion

| May 6, 2011

In Washington state, researchers from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory announced that lignin-modified Eucalyptus trees developed by ArborGen releases more than twice the usual amount of sugar, making it a promising option as a biomass feedstock for liquid fuel. Using plant biotechnology the modifications were made at two points in the lignin biosynthetic pathway, with the largest increase in sugar release coming from cinnamate-4-hydroxylase (C4H) down-regulation.

Scientists from NREL have characterized the C4H lines as containing half the lignin of the unmodified lines.  Using a high throughput sugar release assay developed at NREL (Selig et al, 2011 Biotech. Letters 1-7), the modified lines were found to release up to 99 percent of their sugars, up from 40 percent in the non-modified plants.

Although some “low recalcitrance” plant lines suffer from reduced growth, many of the C4H down-regulated lines from the E. grandis x E.  urophylla cross grow well.  C4H lines have an estimated biomass productivity of ten dry-tons per acre per year, with the potential to produce about 1,000 gallons of liquid biofuels per acre.

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Category: Research

Comments (3)

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  1. sir
    This is fantastic news. but can we get the permission for planting
    ..ican source for 10000acres before 2012
    we are ready
    with best regards
    alagarsamy
    http://www.mgrbiodiesel.com
    India
    91-9884016142

  2. balaji says:

    Respected Sir,

    Please tell us the way to manufacture more no of seedlings through tissue culture to meet the heavy demand for such varieties.We here have a tc lab for Musa paradisica.Please help us to plant more saplings for increased biodiesel yield.

    Thanking you,

    Your truly,
    Balaji

  3. [...] For more on opportunities and work in overcoming (plant) recalcitrance, try our look at Oak Ridge’s work on the genetic structure of Z.mobilis,  or work by the Samuel Roberts Noble foundation, Georgia Tech and ORNL on switchgrass, , or ArborGen’s low-lignin eucalyptus trees, [...]