NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies will work with San Diego-based bioenergy firm SG Biofuels to sequence the genome of a Jatropha plant in order to develop its use as a biofuel, SG Biofuels said today.
In addition to the initial sequencing effort, Life Technologies will become a strategic partner with SG Biofuels, which said it has the "largest and most diverse library" of Jatropha genetic material in the world at its Genetic Resource Center.
The specific plant, Jatropha curcas, is a non-edible shrub native to Central America. It can be grown in marginal lands that are not desirable for other crops and its seed contain high amounts of oil that can be used to make biodiesel and feedstock substitutes for the petrochemical and jet fuel industries.
"By combining our library of Jatropha DNA with the extensive genetic expertise and resources of Life Technologies, we have the opportunity to unlock the true potential of Jatropha as the most profitable and sustainable biofuel feedstock," SG Biofuels President and CEO Kirk Haney said in a statement.
"Sequencing the genome will allow us to rapidly develop region-specific cultivars from the promising traits we’ve already identified,” Haney added.