WIU researchers score DOE grant to strengthen pennycress

August 31, 2020 |

In Illinois, a second grant has been awarded that dovetails into an initial $12 million grant to study pennycress and helps ensure a consistent version of the alternative crop is produced.

WIU will receive just under $1 million of a $13 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant aimed at genetically strengthening pennycress plants for use in sustainable energy work.

For WIU’s portion of the grant, the University Farm will act as a “grow-out” site for pennycress, along with sites at Illinois State University, the Ohio State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Washington State University. Research includes using a variety of growing locations to test the environmental impacts on the pennycress plants.

Plants grown at each of those locations will be sent to WIU for oil content testing. Genetic testing on the plants will be done at ISU in an effort to improve oil content and create plants that are resistant to stressors, such as drought and extreme heat.

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Category: Research

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