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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2010 Apr;21(2):218-24. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2010.02.002. Epub 2010 Feb 22.

Genetic and biotechnological approaches for biofuel crop improvement.

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  • 1Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Research and development efforts for biofuel production are targeted at converting plant biomass into renewable liquid fuels. Major obstacles for biofuel production include lack of biofuel crop domestication, low oil yields from crop plants as well as recalcitrance of lignocellulose to chemical and enzymatic breakdown. Researchers are expanding the genetic and genomic resources available for crop improvement, elucidating lipid metabolism to facilitate manipulation of fatty acid biosynthetic pathways and studying how plant cell walls are synthesized and assembled. This knowledge will be used to produce the next generation of biofuel crops by increasing fatty acid content and by optimizing the hydrolysis of plant cell walls to release fermentable sugars.

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