Biotech Updates

GM Corn Strains for Biofuels

April 18, 2008

Researchers in the United States have created three strains of genetically modified (GM) corn to manufacture enzymes that break down the plant's cellulose into sugars, the source for ethanol. By incorporating these enzymes directly into the plants, the cost of converting cellulose into biofuel could be reduced.

Enzymes are produced using an energy-intensive process using bioreactors. However, Mariam Sticklen, professor of crop and soil science at Michigan State University, was able to engineer corn plants to produce the enzymes themselves. “The plants use the free energy of the sun to produce the enzymes," she says.

Read more on this research breakthrough at