Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Bio Fuel News .




BIO FUEL
Computational Model IDs Potential Pathways to Improve Plant Oil Production
by Staff Writers
Upton NY (SPX) Oct 10, 2012


illustration only

Using a computational model they designed to incorporate detailed information about plants' interconnected metabolic processes, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified key pathways that appear to "favor" the production of either oils or proteins.

he research, now published online in Plant Physiology, may point the way to new strategies to tip the balance and increase plant oil production.

The study focused on the metabolism of rapeseed, a crop grown primarily in temperate climates for the oil that accumulates in its seeds. Such plant oils are used worldwide for food, feed, and increasingly as a feedstock for the chemical industry and to produce biodiesel fuel.

"Increasing seed oil content is a major goal for the improvement of oil crops such as rapeseed," said Brookhaven biologist Jorg Schwender.

As a step toward that goal, Schwender and Brookhaven postdoctoral research associate Jordan Hay recently developed a detailed computational model incorporating 572 biochemical reactions that play a role in rapeseeds' central metabolism and/or seed oil production, as well as information on how those reactions are grouped together, are organized in subcellular compartments, and how they interact.

They've now used the model to identify which metabolic pathways are likely to increase in activity-and which have to decrease-to convert a "low-oil" seed into a "high-oil" seed.

Such a switch would likely be a tradeoff between oil and protein production, Schwender explained, because with limited carbon and energy resources, "the plant would 'pay' for the increased cost of making more oil by reducing its investment into seed protein."

So far, efforts based on conventional plant breeding and genetics have had very limited success in changing the typical tradeoff of storage compounds in seeds.

"Behind the production of oil and protein in seeds is a complex network of hundreds of biochemical reactions, and it is hard to determine how this network is controlled and how it could be manipulated to change the tradeoff," Schwender said.

Schwender and Hay's computational model of 572 metabolic reactions turns the problem on its head to narrow the search. Instead of manipulating each pathway one by one to see which might tip the balance from protein toward oil, the model postulates the existence of seeds with different oil and protein content to see which of the many reactions are "responsive" to changes in the oil/protein tradeoff.

"This approach allowed us to narrow down the large list of enzyme reactions to the relatively few ones that might be good candidates to be manipulated in future experimental studies," Schwender said. "Our major goal is to computationally predict the least possible number of enzymes that have most control over the tradeoff between oil and protein production."

Of the 572 reactions included in the model, the scientists identified 149 reactions as "protein-responsive" and 116 as "oil-responsive."

"In addition, the model helps us evaluate how sensitive the reactions are in a quantitative way, so we can see which of these are the 'most sensitive' reactions," Schwender said. "This allows us to identify a relatively few possible targets for future genetic manipulation to tip the balance in favor of greater seed oil production."

Some of the reactions identified by the model confirm pathways pointed out in previous research as important for oil synthesis. "But some of the reactions identified by our model have not really been implied so far to be important in the oil/protein tradeoff," Schwender said, suggesting that this could be new ground for discovery.

"These simulation tools may therefore point the way to new strategies for re-designing bioenergy crops for improved production," he concluded.

.


Related Links
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Bio Fuel Technology and Application News






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





BIO FUEL
Biorefining: The new green wave
Paris (AFP) Oct 07, 2012
Biorefineries and "green chemistry" seem to have a credible future built on a wide range of applications such as cosmetics, plastics and detergents. The rise of the price of oil and increasingly restrictive health legislation covering dangerous products are giving a boost to green refining. Some "green chemistry" factories, a few of which exist in France, break down organic molecules fou ... read more


BIO FUEL
China's solar slump to strengthen sector?

Researchers Reveal How Solvent Mixtures Affect Organic Solar Cell Structure

Eclipsall Solar PV Panels Featured in Veridian Headquarters Rooftop Solar Array

Optimism Sets Tone As Solar Power International Makes First Visit to Southeast

BIO FUEL
Computational Model IDs Potential Pathways to Improve Plant Oil Production

Biorefining: The new green wave

Turd-eating worms clear air around Canadian toilets

Napiergrass: A Potential Biofuel Crop for the Sunny Southeast

BIO FUEL
Sandia Labs benchmark helps wind industry measure success

Bigger wind turbines make greener electricity

EU wind power capacity reaches 100GW

Lawsuit fights Obama ban on wind farm sale to Chinese

BIO FUEL
Chevron decries court refusal to block Ecuador fine

Topological Superconductors

Using less gas and oil to get where you're going

Britain weighing tax breaks on shale gas: Osborne

BIO FUEL
Regulator: Britain faces power shortages

Money: A New (Decentralized) Shade of Green

Energy New Front in Economic Warfare

Ireland Unlikely To Meet EU Energy Targets

BIO FUEL
GM says China auto sales hit record in September

Plans to cut urban motorway through Bucharest stir outcry

How Will Smart Cars Affect the Future of Driving?

Study: Electric cars can be polluters

BIO FUEL
Plants adapt their defenses to the local pest community

Why We Need Insects; Even "Pesky" Ones

Non-native plants show a greater response than native wildflowers to climate change

Essential oils as antigerminants could be solution for storage of potatoes

BIO FUEL
'Dishonored' game a whorl of cunning and combat

US politics goes mobile, phones become tool: study

Immersive game showcases new Internet Explorer

Strathclyde takes the lead in space research




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement