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Location: Office of International Research Programs

2009 Annual Report

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
This activity represents t he newest thematic area of the USDA Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) Protocol. This area of research was added in 2007. The ARS technical lead for the activity is Z. Lewis Liu (Project number 3620-41000-123) who coordinates activities for ARS conducting bilateral research towards the common goals of this annex. There is an annual Joint Working Group co-chaired by the REE Under Secretary and the MOST Vice Minister where a report of the activities under this agreement are reported for the year. This year's report was given in Davis, CA on July 8, 2009 where the co-chairs were able to give feedback on how to enhance activities per the new administration's agenda. Prior to the annual Joint Working Group Dr.Liu was asked to submit a report to the Under Secretaries office detailing the progress made under the bilateral agreement. Dr. Lewis Liu then gave a briefing at the Joint Working Group on his poriton of the research, which was of particular interest to the Under Secretaries office.

4. Accomplishments