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December 30, 2013

Chemical Factors that Control Lignin Polymerization
The work provides a coherent framework for understanding the propensity of different terminal subunits in lignin to undergo growth or termination.

December 20, 2013

Cellulase Diversity – CelA is a highly active and stable cellulase with a Novel Digestion Mechanism
CelA and multi-functional cellulases represent a distinct paradigm for cellulose digestion with high activity created by combining modules separated by long linker peptides on the same gene product.

November 30, 2013

Genomics approach to deciphering lignin biosynthesis in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.)
This work provides a blueprint and new resources for the systematic genome-wide study of the monolignol pathway in switchgrass as well as other C4 monocots.

October 10, 2013

BioEnergy Science Center Achievements
Dr. Xing Xu; Dr. Art Ragauskas; Dr. James (Jim) Liao; Dr. Richard Dixon; Dr Steve Brown; Dr. Michael Udvardi

September 12, 2013

Robust RNA-Seq and DNA Microarray Comparison for C. thermocellum Fermenting Biomass
High degree of concordance in gene expression measurements between transcriptomic platforms. Appropriate normalization of RNA-Seq data is essential with a scaling factor based on the geometric mean of the RNA-Seq data most closely aligning with the microarray analyses of the same samples in this study.

June 01, 2013

Progress in Development of Caldicellulosiruptor as a Consolidated Bioprocessing (CBP) Platform
New capabilities in metabolic pathway engineering combined with intrinsic utilization of lignocellulosic materials position these thermophilic cellulolytic organisms to provide a new paradigm for consolidated bioprocessing of fuels and other products from biomass. Recent development of methods for genetic manipulation has set the stage for rational engineering for improved biofuel production.

May 01, 2013

Caldicellulosiruptor bescii (C. bescii) degrades lignin in switchgrass as well as cellulose and hemicellulose
Chemical and thermal pretreatment strategies for conventional cellulosic biofuels production contribute a significant cost overhead to the overall process. This unexpected result of simultaneous lignin and carbohydrate solubilization by C. bescii bodes well for complete industrial conversion by extremely thermophilic microbes of biomass that requires limited or no chemical pretreatment.

April 08, 2013

Fungal cellulases and complexed cellulosomal enzymes exhibit different yet synergistic mechanisms in cellulose deconstruction
New understanding of mechanistic differences between these important enzymatic paradigms highlights new opportunities for combining these two systems for enhanced performance, and allows for development of an optimum strategy through enzyme engineering that employs both approaches.

April 01, 2013

Overexpression of lignin transcription factor in switchgrass significantly increases biofuel yields
Results have demonstrated that overexpression of PvMYB4, a general transcriptional repressor of the phenylpropanoid/lignin biosynthesis pathway, can lead to a very high yield ethanol production through dramatic reduction of recalcitrance. MYB4-OX switchgrass is an excellent model system for understanding recalcitrance, and provides new germplasm for developing switchgrass cultivars as biomass feedstocks for biofuel production.

January 05, 2013

Development of an integrated transcript sequence database and a gene expression atlas for gene discovery and analysis in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.)
Switchgrass research will be enhanced by this webserver. A site for these data sets provides a solid foundation for functional genomics and breeding in switchgrass and provides annotations that helps users formulate hypotheses about gene function. The server handles RNA seq data also, which means that it can serve as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for switchgrass transcriptomics.

January 01, 2013

New plant structure (APAP1) discovery may lead to improved biofuel processing
APAP1 is contrary to prevailing cell wall models that depict separate protein, pectin and hemicellulose polysaccharide networks. The modified sugar composition and increased extractability of pectin and xylan immunoreactive epitopes in APAP1 mutant aerial biomass support a key role for the APAP1 proteoglycan in plant wall architecture and function. The existence of APAP1 in plant walls has significant consequences for understanding of plant wall architecture and function, and potentially for engineering plant cell walls for improved agronomic and renewable biomaterial uses. Pectin, a primary cell wall component, is important in secondary cell wall structure.

BioEnergy Science Center one of three DOE Bioenergy Research Centers established by the U.S. Department of Energy.