CropBiotech Update weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA).en-usWed, 27 Jul 2016 17:00:00 +0800Researchers Engineer Novel β-glucosidase to Improve pH Stabilityβ-Glucosidase is a member of the biomass-degrading enzyme system and is vital in saccharification for biofuel production. In industrial practice, enzymes with high activity and great stability are always preferred. Hence, exploring natural enzymes and engineering superior mutants are approaches commonly used to improve saccharification.Researc...Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:00:00 +0800Research and DevelopmentEffect of Steam Explosion Pretreatment with Explosive Decompression on Enzymatic Digestibility of Biomass explosion pretreatment is currently the most common pretreatment method for enhancing enzymatic digestibility of lignocellulosic biomass in commercial biorefineries. However, knowledge of the effect of explosive decompression on enzymatic digestibility is very limited. Thomas Pielhop from ETH Zurich in Switzerland now aim to discover the effe...Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:00:00 +0800Research and DevelopmentSingapore Scientists Engineered Yeast to Produce Butanol from Food Waste from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed an efficient way to recycle food waste that the country produces. They have genetically engineered Yarrowia lipolytica to convert fats in food waste into butanol. In 2015, Singapore produced 785,500 tons of food waste in which only 13% was recycled. This prompted the NUS Synt...Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:00:00 +0800Research and DevelopmentMalaysian Government to Discuss B10 Implementation with Car Manufacturers Malaysian Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities will be meeting with car manufacturers tomorrow to discuss the implementation of B10 biodiesel. This was set after the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), together with various car makers, raised concerns about the effect of higher grade biodiesel on engines.MAA claims that using B...Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:00:00 +0800News and TrendsSouth Africa Celebrates First Biofuel Flight South African Airways recently celebrated Africa's first sustainable biofuel flight. A Boeing flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town used biojet fuel produced from Sunchem's nicotine-free tobacco plant Solaris.The flight serves as proof of the possibility to produce biofuel to improve lives of smallholder farmers. The Roundtable on Sustainable B...Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:00:00 +0800News and TrendsNigerian Goverment Initiates Set-up of Ethanol Plant Nigeria National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) announced that plans to set up a renewable energy plant are already underway.The decision to expand energy generation in Nigeria was created by the Federal Government in 2005 but had only been in the pipeline. However, the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has initiated the diversific...Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:00:00 +0800News and TrendsGenetic Improvement of Sorghum for Biofuel Production new research from the University of Florida, Washington State University, USDA-ARS and the University of Missouri evaluated how genetic improvement of certain sorghum traits could maximize sorghum as a bioenergy crop.The research team focused on disease resistance, flooding tolerance and cell wall composition as targets for improving sorghum for ...Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:00:00 +0800Energy Crops and Feedstocks for Biofuels ProductionTransgenic Sugarcanes Exhibit Improved Glucose Release lignocellulosic residue left after sugar extraction is relatively abundant and is already considered as waste material. However, it can still be used as a significant source of biomass for the production of second-generation bioethanol. Researchers from Syracuse University, Queensland University of Technology and the University of Wisconsin ove...Wed, 27 Jul 2016 17:00:00 +0800Energy Crops and Feedstocks for Biofuels Production