Thursday, January 22, 2015

Enhancing microbial pathways for biofuel production

Researchers from the DOE JGI and the Joint Bioenergy Institute identified genes in an E. coli microbial metabolism pathway that could improve the production of terpenes.

Terpene production in eucalyptus is of interest to the bioenergy researchers who were part of an international consortium of researchers, including scientists from U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI), a DOE Office of Science user facility, which described the eucalyptus genome in Nature earlier this year. One side project resulting from work done there is being led by study co-author Jerry Tuskan of the DOE JGI as well as Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC), a DOE Bioenergy Research Center (BRC). Tuscan's team is working on oil gland formation in plants and expressed interest in determining the biochemical pathway of terpene production in eucalyptus leaves to develop a sustainable alternative to jet fuel.

Read more at:

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Second annual Bioenergy Day @ UGA to welcome seventh graders

Athens, Ga. - More than 400 Athens seventh-graders will experience firsthand how wood and other plant biomass generate energy at the second annual Bioenergy Day @ UGA on Nov. 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the State Botanical Garden.

UGA faculty and students will be on hand to guide students from Hilsman and Coile middle schools through the hands-on displays about producing renewable energy from biological sources.

Interactive exhibits were developed by staff from the BioEnergy Science Center, or BESC, and the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and departments from across UGA.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Signatures of selection inscribed on poplar genomes

A recent study published online August 24, 2014 in Nature Genetics offers a more in-depth, population-based approach to identifying such mechanisms for adaptation, and describes a method that could be harnessed for developing more accurate predictive climate change models. For the U.S. Department of Energy, which is developing biomass crops for biofuels production, this knowledge could determine which genotypes – genetic makeup of an organism – of biomass crop may thrive better than others in certain environments. The team led by Gerald Tuskan of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) and Stephen DiFazio of West Virginia University, used a combination of genome-wide selection scans and analyses to understand the processes involved in shaping the genetic variation of natural poplar (Populus trichocarpa) populations.

Read more at:

Jerry Tuskan of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the DOE JGI talks about poplar trees as models for selective adaptation to an environment. This video complements a study published ahead online August 24, 2014 in Nature Genetics.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

A team of researchers, led by Professor Charles E. Wyman, at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have developed a versatile, relatively non-toxic, and efficient way to convert raw agricultural and forestry residues and other plant matter, known as lignocellulosic biomass, into biofuels and chemicals.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

WUOT Interview with Jerry Tuskan on extracting jet fuel from eucalyptus plants

Dr. Tuskan was interviewed by WUOT, listener supported public radio station from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee which aired July 25th. 

The interview discussing the study of extracting jet fuel from eucalyptus plants can be heard at (The interview begins around 3:56 into the link.)  

Jerry Tuskan on eucalyptus video on youtube;

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Improving commercial viability of biofuels

Charles Wyman, A University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering professor is one of the authors of a paper recently published in Science that outlines ways companies can commercialize and profit from what was thought to a waste product created when producing biofuels.

Read more at:

Monday, June 2, 2014

New UGA research engineers microbes for the direct conversion of biomass to fuel

The promise of affordable transportation fuels from biomass—a sustainable, carbon neutral route to American energy independence—has been left perpetually on hold by the economics of the conversion process. New research from the University of Georgia has overcome this hurdle allowing the direct conversion of switchgrass to fuel.

Read More.....