Biomass Formation and Modification

BESC biomass formation and modification research involves working directly with two potential bioenergy crops (switchgrass and Populus) to develop varieties that are easier to break down into fermentable sugars and to understand how plant cell walls are made and can be modified to improve sugar release.

  • What genes and gene products regulate cell wall structure, composition, and recalcitrance?
  • How will change in cell wall structure and composition affect plant productivity, pest resistance, drough tolerance and / or sustainability?
  • Challenge: Identify genes that control cell wall biosynthesis and biomass production.