1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this Annex is to establish the Joint US-Sino Center for Biofuel Research under the leadership of the USDA/ARS’ National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) in conjunction with the Institute of New Energy Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. Other Academic partners may be invited by the principles and should be approved by both institutions that fit the mission related effort. . This Annex is subject to the terms and conditions of the S & T Agreement and the Protocol. In the event of any conflict between the terms and conditions of the S & T Agreement or the Protocol and this Annex, the S & T Agreement and the Protocol shall govern.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Cooperation under this Annex may include, but is not limited to, the following topic areas: • To characterize detoxification dynamics, metabolic profiles, and ethanol production potential of tolerant ethanologenic yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae NRRL Y-50049 and other genetically engineered tolerant yeast strains during ethanol conversion using industrial processing by-products corncobs. • To develop improved fermentation process and conditions for optimized performance of selected tolerant yeast for cost-efficient ethanol production using low cost biomass feedstocks including but not limited to sweet sorghum feedstocks. • To develop enzymatic and microbiological biocatalytists for degradation of biomass and enhanced performance for a low cost biomass-to-ethanol conversion. • To develop high-yield tolerant fermentative strains efficiently utilizing multiple sugars derived from divergent lignocellulosic biomass resources. • To address existing and emerging challenging issues from genomics and genetic engineering to fermentation design, optimization, and pipeline process engineering contributing to a sustainable and cost-competitive biofuels production. • To develop bioenergy crops, including improved germplasm and crop management technologies such as for pest control. To generate broad interest and increased activities, the Parties will, upon mutual consent, involve other interested government agencies and the scientific and business communities of both countries in cooperative programs, trade capacity-building activities, and scientific cooperation and exchanges in implementation of this Annex.
3. Progress Report:
At the 11th Annual Joint Working Group meeting in Fort Collins this annex was renewed for an additional five years. In addition: 1. Collaboration in cost-efficient corncob-to-ethanol technology resulted in two peer-reviewed original research articles joint authored by scientists at USDA-ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research and Tsinghua University, 2012-2013. 2. Completed a one-year training for a PhD student from Tsinghua University funded by MOST at ARS-NCAUR, 2012-2013. Investigated new genotypes of ARS genetically engineered yeast strains, with C-5 sugar utilization capability for efficient lignocellulose-to-ethanol production. 3. Collaborative research under an agreement with QIBEBT, Chinese Academy of Sciences, on genome characterization of tolerant yeast strains developed by ARS. A manuscript of joint authorship is under preparation to be submitted for publication in 2013. 4. Published one joint research article by scientists from ARS and Tianjin University, China, on mechanisms of yeast tolerance to pretreatment inhibitors, 2013. ARS filed a US utility patent application on novel yeast for cellulosic ethanol production, 2013. 5. ARS received an application request on August 2, 2013 for training of a PhD student from Sichuan Agricultural University, China, at ARS-NCAUR lab, funded by China Scholarship Council, 2013-2014.