Researchers improving wood properties, lignin biosynthesis, for biofuels

April 22, 2018 |

In North Carolina, researchers at the Forest Biotechnology Group at North Carolina State University are speeding up the process of engineering trees for specific needs in timber, biofuel, pulp, paper and green chemistry applications. Scientists can now predict the effects of altering 21 pathway genes involved in producing lignin a component of wood that needs to be removed for biofuel production.

“For the first time, we can predict the outcomes of modifying multiple genes involved in lignin biosynthesis, rather than working with a single gene at a time through trial and error, which is a tedious and time-consuming process,” Jack Wang, assistant professor in NC State’s College of Natural Resources and lead author of a paper about the research told Phys. “NC State researchers in Bob Kelly’s lab are looking at how we can produce trees that can be paired with thermophilic bacteria for optimal conversion to biofuels and biochemicals.”

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Category: Research

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