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Abstract Detail

Bio-Energy Crops

Starostka, Lindsey [1], Vivian, Lindsay [1], Twigg, Paul [2].

Expression levels of genes involved in lignin biosynthesis in the internodes of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum).

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a perennial native grass which has significant potential as a bioenergy crop. While breeding programs have produced many useful varieties of switchgrass until recently, it was largely uncharacterized at the genomic level. Recent EST sequencing efforts have helped to alleviate this problem by increasing the available information and allowing gene discovery. One of the problems keeping bioenergy grasses from becoming a more dominant source of renewable energy is the presence of lignin in the cell walls. Lignin is a polyphenolic compound that is a recalcitrant carbon source to most organisms. Itís presence in the cell walls of bioenergy grasses reduces the usable energy yield when these organisms are used to produce cellulosic ethanol. In our study, we developed assays for measuring transcript levels of three genes involved in lignin biosynthesis and one control (caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase, cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase, cinnamoylCoA reductase, and ubiquitin conjugating enzyme). We used these assays to measure these transcript levels in the internodes of developing switchgrass plants. We will present our data from these assays, and discuss the significance of our findings and techniques to the selection of better bioenergy grasses. This project was supported by NIH grant P20 RR16469 from the BRIN program of the National Center for Research Resources and the UNL USDA-ARS.

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1 - University of Nebraska-Kearney, Biology
2 - University of Nebraska-Kearney, Biology, 905 W. 25th St, Kearney, NE, 68849, USA

energy crop

Presentation Type: Plant Biology Abstract
Session: P
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: P03006
Abstract ID:1096

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