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Trends Biotechnol. 2010 Nov;28(11):543-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2010.07.008. Epub 2010 Aug 26.

Potential of Arabidopsis systems biology to advance the biofuel field.

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Department of Plant Systems Biology, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), 9052 Ghent, Belgium.


Plant biomass is a renewable and potentially sustainable resource for the production of liquid biofuels and a multitude of bio-based materials. To tailor plants for biofuel production, a powerful gene discovery program targeted to cell wall recalcitrance genes is needed. In parallel, a system is required that reveals the pleiotropic effects of gene modifications and that delivers the fundamental knowledge necessary for successful gene stacking. In our opinion, these objectives can be pioneered through a systems biology approach in Arabidopsis. We develop our ideas with a focus on the lignin biosynthetic pathway, because lignin is among the most important factors determining cell wall recalcitrance.

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