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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Crop Genetics and Breeding Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #321974

Research Project: Genetic Enhancement and Management of Warm-Season Species for Forage, Turf and Renewable Energy

Location: Crop Genetics and Breeding Research

Title: Dedicated herbaceous biomass feedstock genetics and development

Author
item Anderson, William - Bill
item Sarath, Gautam
item Edme, Serge
item Casler, Michael
item Mitchell, Robert - Rob
item Tobias, Christian
item Hale, Anna
item Sattler, Scott
item Knoll, Joseph - Joe

Submitted to: BioEnergy Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/7/2016
Publication Date: 1/7/2016
Citation: Anderson, W.F., Sarath, G., Edme, S.J., Casler, M.D., Mitchell, R., Tobias, C.M., Hale, A.L., Sattler, S.E., Knoll, J.E. 2016. Dedicated herbaceous biomass feedstock genetics and development. BioEnergy Research. 9:399-411.

Interpretive Summary: The United States government placed emphasis on the development of biofuels and bio-based products a decade ago. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) implemented the creation of Regional Biomass Research Centers that included existing research labs of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Forest Service (FS) in 2010. These centers have compiled a record of the research progress in the areas of improving biomass production for conversion to ethanol and bio-based products over the past five years. This paper reviews the advances made in genetics and breeding of herbaceous biomass species in the United States. Many genes have been discovered that will enhance the use of grass biomass for the biofuel industry. Breeding has begun to exploit these genes for the development of improved cultivars for many species.

Technical Abstract: Biofuels and bio-based products can be produced from a wide variety of plant feedstocks. To supply enough biomass to meet the proposed need for a bio-based economy a suite of dedicated biomass species must be developed to accommodate a range of growing environments throughout the United States. Researchers from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and collaborators associated with USDA Regional Biomass Research Centers have made major progress in understanding the genetics of switchgrass, sorghum and other grass species and have begun to use this knowledge to develop new cultivars that produce high yields and appropriate traits for efficient conversion to bio-based products. Plant geneticists and breeders have discovered genes that reduce recalcitrance for biochemical conversion ethanol and drop-in fuels. Progress has also been made in finding genes that improve production under biotic and abiotic stress from diseases, pests, and climatic variations.