Monday, April 4, 2011

Gene Discovery by Noble Foundation

Rick Dixon and Huanzhong Wang were featured in an article titled “Gene discovery by Noble Foundation scientists could lead to better biofuel crops” on the NewsOK website on January 6, 2011. They have uncovered a gene responsible for controlling the density of plant material.  The discovery could be used to more efficiently grow crops for biofuels or forage.  Denser plants have more biomass without increasing the agricultural footprint, meaning farmers and ranchers can produce more plant material from the same sized field.  “This discovery opens up new possibilities for harnessing and increasing the potential of crops by expanding their ranges of use,” said Rick Dixon. “It's a very important finding,” said Paul Gilna. “Understanding how plants produce lignin and how we might control or alter that process is key to our ability to reduce the costs of producing biofuels.”
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