US Department of Energy awards Danforth Center $16M to Enhance Sorghum for Bioenergy
The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, one of the world's largest independent plant science institutes, today announced a 5-year $16 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Building on earlier research using the model grass, green foxtail (Setaria viridis), this project will identify new genes and pathways that contribute to photosynthesis and enhanced water use efficiency. The team will then deploy these genes using tools of the emerging field of synthetic biology to accelerate development of elite energy sorghum varieties for production under marginal environments.
Photo: Sorghum is a unique crop in that most varieties are both drought and heat tolerant. The development of a low input, environmentally safe and highly productive sorghum germplasm will help establish a lignocellulosic energy economy that can provide jobs to rural communities, ensure energy security and benefit the environment. (credits: Greg Goebel / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0))