APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Biofuel feedstock plants
- Reduced lignin or phenolic compounds compared with wild type plants
- Up to a 10 percent increase in sugar extracted
- Yields developmentally normal plants
- Enables more efficient biofuel production
Pamela Ronald and a team of researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have engineered plants with inhibited expression of snl6, a cinnamoyl-CoA reductase-like (CCR-like) gene. As a result, the JBEI plants have reduced lignin or phenolic compounds compared to wild type plants and yield an increase of up to 10 percent of sugar extracted. The JBEI technology can be applied to a wide range of plants including rice, miscanthus, switchgrass, sugarcane, sugar beet, sorghum and corn, among others.
In addition, the JBEI-engineered plants are developmentally normal. Until now, plants with decreased lignin content have exhibited defects such as reduced size or sturdiness that made them unsuitable biofuel feedstocks.
Lignin significantly hinders the extraction of sugars from plant cells walls for saccharification, a key step in the production of biofuels from cellulosic biomass. The JBEI-engineered plants present less lignin or phenolics than control plants and lack the defects of other engineered species making them a superior biofuel feedstock.
Attention potential SBIR/STTR Program applicants (FY2013, Phase 1 Release 1): Please do not contact researchers directly with technology questions. Go here to learn how you may interact with researchers during the FOA open period.
The Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI, www.jbei.org) is a scientific partnership led by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and including the Sandia National Laboratories, the University of California campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. JBEI’s primary scientific mission is to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels.
STATUS: Published PCT application WO2011160057 available www.wipo.int. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Bart R., Chern M.S., Vega-Sanchez M.E., Canlas P., Ronald P. “Rice Snl6, a Cinnamoyl-CoA Reductase-like Gene Family Member, is Required for NH1-Mediated Immunity to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae,” Plos Genetics, Volume 6, Issue 9, September 2010.
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REFERENCE NUMBER: EIO-2763