Michigan State University researchers study eucalyptus for insights into oil production

May 13, 2019 |

In Michigan, close genetic analysis of 480 blue mallee eucalyptus plants provides clues to modify cultivars for greater yield, whether for essential oils or jet fuel. In particular, Michigan State University researchers are studying terpenes, organic compounds found in the plant’s leaves. Terpenes enable certain species that produce them (mostly plants, but also some insects) to give off strong odors that deter pests or attract pollinators. For example, hops, a primary ingredient in beer, contain terpenes, which gives the hops their piney smell.

Certain varieties of eucalyptus and tea tree produce great quantities of just the right terpenes, which can be used for essential oils or biofuel distillation.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: ,

Category: Research

Thank you for visting the Digest.