Advances in biotechnology and genomics of switchgrass

This study has shown the incorporation of a complex trait in switchgrass is possible for biomanufacturing

Madhugiri Nageswara-Rao; Jaya R Soneji; Charles Kwit; C Neal Stewart

2013

Scholarcy highlights

  • Resource consumption by humans continues to proceed at arguably unsustainable levels
  • This suggests that genetic improvements of biofuel properties of switchgrass through expression and down-regulation of transgenes is a practical way to rapidly establish it as a viable bioenergy crop on a commercial level and will be achieved with growing reliability in the coming years
  • The application of new knowledge and tools developed from genomic resources such as identification of genes like those involved in the lignin pathway, saccharification efficiency, biomass yield, nutritional quality, and pest resistance will help geneticists and plant genetic improvement managers to overcome the limitations associated with conventional breeding, make sexual hybridization more efficient and manipulate various traits effectively
  • Biotechnological advances made to genetically modify important biofuel related traits in switchgrass will play a key role in shaping the future of the switchgrass biofuel industry
  • Genomic information being generated for switchgrass will further enhance the breeding and biotechnological endeavors
  • Plant biotechnology will play an important role to the successful generation of energy crops, it should be followed up with breeding programs aimed at sustaining or improving the significant agronomic attributes which made these plants imperative for biofuel generation to start with, namely resistance to abiotic and biotic factors, and low fertilization requirements
  • The critical issue to be dealt with is how to improve the conversion efficiency from the solar energy to biofuel energy such that biofuels can meet anthropogenic energy consumption demands and be able to replace the fossil fuels

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