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JBEI researchers unlock pathway to xylan as new source of cellulosic sugars

| November 14, 2012

In California, researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have identified a gene in rice plants whose suppression improves both the extraction of xylan and the overall release of the sugars needed to make biofuels. The newly identified gene – dubbed XAX1 – acts to make xylan less extractable from plant cell walls. JBEI researchers, working with a mutant variety of rice plant found that not only was xylan more extractable, but the breakdown of carbohydrates into releasable sugars also improved by better than 60-percent.

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Category: Research

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