NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Amid a wave of new grants for biomass and biofuel research that the US Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy announced today, a total of $1.7 million will go to Ceres, an energy crop firm, and the University of Florida for genomic and genetics programs.
The University of Florida will receive up to $867,000 to study methods of genetically engineering sugarcane to increase the fermentable yield of hemicellulose biomass.
Ceres will use as much as $839,000 to identify and characterize plant genes that are involved in biosynthesis and deposition of hemicellulose in plant cell walls, particularly in switchgrass.
These initiatives are among 21 projects announced today that will receive a total of up to $18.4 million over the next three years under the joint DOE/USDA’s Biomass Research and Development Initiative.
The projects are focused on addressing barriers that exist to producing biomass, and to make it more efficient and more cost-effective, the agencies said.