Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Bio Fuel News .




BIO FUEL
'Fat worms' inch scientists toward better biofuel production
by Staff Writers
East Lansing MI (SPX) Mar 01, 2013


To confirm that the improved plants were more nutritious and contained more energy, the research team fed them to caterpillar larvae. The larvae that were fed oily leaves from the enhanced plants gained more weight than worms that ate regular leaves.

Fat worms confirm that researchers from Michigan State University have successfully engineered a plant with oily leaves - a feat that could enhance biofuel production as well as lead to improved animal feeds.

The results, published in the current issue of The Plant Cell, the journal of the American Society of Plant Biologists, show that researchers could use an algae gene involved in oil production to engineer a plant that stores lipids or vegetable oil in its leaves - an uncommon occurrence for most plants.

Traditional biofuel research has focused on improving the oil content of seeds. One reason for this focus is because oil production in seeds occurs naturally. Little research, however, has been done to examine the oil production of leaves and stems, as plants don't typically store lipids in these tissues.

Christoph Benning, MSU professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, led a collaborative effort with colleagues from the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. The team's efforts resulted in a significant early step toward producing better plants for biofuels.

"Many researchers are trying to enhance plants' energy density, and this is another way of approaching it," Benning said. "It's a proof-of-concept that could be used to boost plants' oil production for biofuel use as well as improve the nutrition levels of animal feed."

Benning and his colleagues began by identifying five genes from one-celled green algae. From the five, they identified one that, when inserted into Arabidopsis thaliana, successfully boosted oil levels in the plant's leaf tissue.

To confirm that the improved plants were more nutritious and contained more energy, the research team fed them to caterpillar larvae. The larvae that were fed oily leaves from the enhanced plants gained more weight than worms that ate regular leaves.

For the next phase of the research, Benning and his colleagues will work to enhance oil production in grasses and algae that have economic value. The benefits of this research are worth pursuing, Benning said.

"If oil can be extracted from leaves, stems and seeds, the potential energy capacity of plants may double," he said. "Further, if algae can be engineered to continuously produce high levels of oil, rather than only when they are under stress, they can become a viable alternative to traditional agricultural crops."

Moreover, algae can be grown on poor agricultural land - a big plus in the food vs. fuel debate, he added.

"These basic research findings are significant in advancing the engineering of oil-producing plants," said Kenneth Keegstra, GLBRC scientific director and MSU University Distinguished Professor of biochemistry and molecular biology.

"They will help write a new chapter on the development of production schemes that will enhance the quantity, quality and profitability of both traditional and nontraditional crops."

Additional MSU researchers and GLBRC members contributing to the study include Gregg Howe, biochemistry and molecular biology professor; John Olhrogge, University Distinguished Professor of plant biology; and Gavin Reid, biochemistry and molecular biology associate professor.

.


Related Links
Michigan State University
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
The impact of algae parasite on algae biofuel output
San Diego CA (SPX) Feb 26, 2013
As part of an ongoing effort to improve commercial scale algae biofuel production, a group of scientists, led by crude oil producer Sapphire Energy, Inc., have announced the completion of a collaborative study which identified the morphology, ultrastructure, and life history of A. protococcarum, one of the most difficult to manage algae parasites. Their findings are detailed in "Characteri ... read more


BIO FUEL
Czech Company Plans to Invest EUR 400 Mln Into Solar Plants in Ukraine

SOLON and MP2 Capital Complete Construction of Multi-Campus Solar System

Solar Photovoltaic Demand In 2012 Falls Short Of 30 GW Mark

UConn Professor's Patented Technique Key to New Solar Power Technology

BIO FUEL
'Fat worms' inch scientists toward better biofuel production

The impact of algae parasite on algae biofuel output

Engineering cells for more efficient biofuel production

Avoiding virus dangers in 'domesticating' wild plants for biofuel use

BIO FUEL
Rethinking wind power

Global wind energy capacity grows 19 percent in 2012

Finding the right space for offshore wind turbines

Spotting the invisible cracks in wind turbines

BIO FUEL
Second leak at North Sea oil platform forces evacuation

US suggests Keystone pipeline won't harm environment

Iran's oil output faces long-term decline

China has no need for U.S. coal?

BIO FUEL
US Geothermal Industry Sees Continued Steady Growth in 2012

S.Africa to introduce carbon tax from 2015

Nation Could Double Energy Productivity

China energy consumption rises 3.9% in 2012

BIO FUEL
Study: Left-hand turn, cellphone don't mix

Formula E: China Racing join all-electric Formula E line-up

Mobile apps reshape urban taxi landscape

Estonia plugs electric cars as power prices soar

BIO FUEL
Invention opens the way to packaging that monitors food freshness

Hong Kong cracks down on baby formula trade

Argentine soybean yield goes below budget

World agriculture suffers from loss of wild bees: study

BIO FUEL
Taiwan turns plastic junk into blankets, dolls

Fukushima raised cancer risk near plant: WHO

Ancient Egyptian pigment points to new security ink technology

Laser mastery narrows down sources of superconductivity




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