Crop Biotech Update

Switchgrass Genetic Engineering Strategy for Biofuel at UT

December 5, 2012

The University of Tennessee (UT) Institute of Agriculture team of plant scientists led by Dr.Neal Stewards is one of the 65 recipients of the US Department of Energy grant aimed to produce breakthroughs in energy technology, form the foundation for entirely new industries and have large commercial impacts. The grant for UT will be used to develop a high throughput bioengineering and trait testing in switchgrass.

"We're creating a system in switchgrass using some unique materials and techniques to leapfrog the current paradigm of genetic engineering where there is a long time-lag," said Stewart.

The technology is hoped to significantly reduce the time required to engineer switchgrass to maximize biofuel production and may have future applications for other plant systems.

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