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William Frank Anderson (Bill)

Research Geneticist (Plants)


- Crop Science, North Carolina State University
- Crop Science, North Carolina State University
- Biochemistry, University of New Hampshire


The primary responsibilities of Bill Anderson (perennial warm season grass geneticist) are to develop warm-season grass cultivars for use as forages (NP 215) and biomass feedstock (NP 307) and develop management systems to incorporate these species into cropping systems that include CRP lands, buffer strips, forage for livestock, and conservation programs.  The primary traits of interest are increased biomass yields with physical or chemical attributes that improve forage digestibility or reduce biomass recalcitrance. 
Initial work concentrated on bermudagrass and napiergrass, but he has collaborated with other researchers on other grasses such as switchgrass and bahiagrass.  A 500 plus accession nursery of bermudagrass and 100 plus clones of napiergrass are being accessed for use as forage and biomass.  This information is being used to determine specific traits and parental lines for breeding purposes.  For forage, primary efforts are being made to develop high yielding seeded varieties with cold tolerance.  Bill Anderson has also developed collaboration with researchers at other locations to determine very specific physical and chemical attributes that limit conversion of lignocellulosic material to sugars that are precursors to fermentation to ethanol for biofuels.  This information will help identify specific traits that can be measured and tagged using genomic DNA characterization techniques (AFLPs), and for elucidating techniques to improve processing feedstock materials using mechanical, enzymatic and chemical pretreatments.  A number of potential bio-energy feedstocks are also being evaluated for pyrolysis syngas production.