Michigan State researcher warns against domesticating wild plants for biofuels

February 20, 2013 |

In Michigan, Michigan State University plant biologist Carolyn Malmstrom says that when we start combining the qualities of different types of plants into one, attempts to “domesticate” wild-growing plants to be used as energy crops, there can be unanticipated results. In contrast to domesticated annual plants like most agricultural crops, perennial plants in nature grow slower, but are usually better equipped to fight off invading viruses. When wild-growing perennials do get infected they can serve as reservoirs for viruses, Malmstrom said, “a place where viruses can hang out a long time.”

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Category: Research

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