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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Enhancing Digestibility And Ethanol Yield Of Populus Wood Via Expression Of An Engineered Monolignol 4-O-Methyltransferase, Yuanheng Cai, Kewei Zhang, Hoon Kim, Guichuan Hou, Xuebin Zhang, Huijun Yang, Huan Feng, Lisa Miller, John Ralph, Chang-Jun Liu Nov 2019

Enhancing Digestibility And Ethanol Yield Of Populus Wood Via Expression Of An Engineered Monolignol 4-O-Methyltransferase, Yuanheng Cai, Kewei Zhang, Hoon Kim, Guichuan Hou, Xuebin Zhang, Huijun Yang, Huan Feng, Lisa Miller, John Ralph, Chang-Jun Liu

Huan Feng

Producing cellulosic biofuels and bio-based chemicals from woody biomass is impeded by the presence of lignin polymer in the plant cell wall. Manipulating the monolignol biosynthetic pathway offers a promising approach to improved processability, but often impairs plant growth and development. Here, we show that expressing an engineered 4-O-methyltransferase that chemically modifies the phenolic moiety of lignin monomeric precursors, thus preventing their incorporation into the lignin polymer, substantially alters hybrid aspens’ lignin content and structure. Woody biomass derived from the transgenic aspens shows a 62% increase in the release of simple sugars and up to a 49% increase in the ...


Phenotypic Screening Identifies Brefeldin A/Ascotoxin As An Inducer Of Lipid Storage In The Algae Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii, Nishikant Wase, Boqiang Tu, Paul N. Black, Concetta C. Dirusso Sep 2018

Phenotypic Screening Identifies Brefeldin A/Ascotoxin As An Inducer Of Lipid Storage In The Algae Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii, Nishikant Wase, Boqiang Tu, Paul N. Black, Concetta C. Dirusso

Nishikant Wase

The use of microalgae as a biofuel feedstock is highly desired, but current methods to induce lipid accumulation cause severe stress responses that limit biomass and, thus oil yield. To address these issues, a high throughput screening (HTS) method was devised to identify chemical inducers of growth and lipid accumulation. Optimization was performed to determine the most effective cell density, DMSO and Nile Red (NR) concentrations to monitor growth and lipid accumulation. The method was tested using 1717 compounds from National Cancer Institute (NCI) Diversity Set III and Natural Products Set II in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Cells were inoculated at low ...


Correlation Analysis Of Enzyme Activities And Deconstruction Of Ammonia-Pretreated Switchgrass By Bacterial-Fungal Communities, Abhiney Jain, H. Sandra Pelle, J. Michael Henson Nov 2016

Correlation Analysis Of Enzyme Activities And Deconstruction Of Ammonia-Pretreated Switchgrass By Bacterial-Fungal Communities, Abhiney Jain, H. Sandra Pelle, J. Michael Henson

H. Sandra Pelle

The mixed microbial communities that occur naturally on lignocellulosic feedstocks can provide feedstock-specific enzyme mixtures to saccharify lignocelluloses. Bacterial-fungal communities were enriched from switchgrass bales to deconstruct ammonia-pretreated switchgrass (DSG). Correlation analysis was carried out to elucidate the relationship between microbial decomposition of DSG by these communities, enzymatic activities produced and enzymatic saccharification of DSG using these enzyme mixtures. Results of the analysis showed that β glucosidase activities and xylosidase activities limited the extent of microbial deconstruction and enzymatic saccharification of DSG. The results also underlined the importance of ligninase activity for the enzymatic saccharification of pretreated lignocellulosic feedstock. The ...


Developing Criteria For Evaluating The Sustainability Of Emerging Energy, Kurt A. Rosentrater, Elif Kongar Apr 2011

Developing Criteria For Evaluating The Sustainability Of Emerging Energy, Kurt A. Rosentrater, Elif Kongar

Kurt A. Rosentrater

Over the last decade, the interest in and production of biofuels has grown rapidly. Renewable transportation fuels can be produced from a variety of substrates, using various processing strategies. Feedstock preference and factory scale are geographic dependent. However, it is important to understand the implications of deploying these types of systems on a large scale, both throughout the U.S. as well as globally. To assess the sustainability of various biofuel options, it is crucial to evaluate their performance according to a number of attributes. This has been done using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Even so, comparisons among biofuel options ...


The Impacts Of Miscanthus×Giganteus Production On The Midwest Us Hydrologic Cycle, Andy Vanloocke, Carl J. Bernacchi, Tracy E. Twine Jul 2010

The Impacts Of Miscanthus×Giganteus Production On The Midwest Us Hydrologic Cycle, Andy Vanloocke, Carl J. Bernacchi, Tracy E. Twine

Andy VanLoocke

Perennial grasses are being considered as candidates for biofuel feedstocks to provide an alternative energy source to fossil fuels. Miscanthus×giganteus (miscanthus), in particular, is a grass that is predicted to provide more energy per sown area than corn ethanol and reduce net carbon dioxide emissions by increasing the storage of carbon belowground. Miscanthus uses more water than Zea mays (maize), mainly as a result of a longer growing season and higher productivity. Conversion of current land use for miscanthus production will likely disrupt regional hydrologic cycles, yet the magnitude, timing, and spatial distribution of effects are unknown. Here, we ...


A Comparison Of Canopy Evapotranspiration For Maize And Two Perennial Grasses Identified As Potential Bioenergy Crops, Andy Vanloocke, George C. Hickman, Frank G. Dohleman, Carl J. Bernacchi Jul 2010

A Comparison Of Canopy Evapotranspiration For Maize And Two Perennial Grasses Identified As Potential Bioenergy Crops, Andy Vanloocke, George C. Hickman, Frank G. Dohleman, Carl J. Bernacchi

Andy VanLoocke

In the Midwestern US, perennial rhizomatous grasses (PRGs) are considered one of the most promising vegetation types to be used as a cellulosic feedstock for renewable energy production. The potential widespread use of biomass crops for renewable energy production has sparked numerous environmental concerns, including the impacts of land-use change on the hydrologic cycle. We predicted that total seasonal evapotranspiration (ET) would be higher for PRGs relative to maize resulting from higher leaf area and a prolonged growing season. We further predicted that, compared with maize, higher aboveground biomass associated with PRGs would offset the higher ET and increase water-use ...


Modeling The Effects Of Pelleting On The Logistics Of Distillers Grains Shipping, Kurt A. Rosentrater, Elif Kongar Dec 2009

Modeling The Effects Of Pelleting On The Logistics Of Distillers Grains Shipping, Kurt A. Rosentrater, Elif Kongar

Kurt A. Rosentrater

The energy security needs of energy importing nations continue to escalate. It is clear that biofuels can help meet some of the increasing need for energy. Theoretically, these can be produced from a variety of biological materials, including agricultural residues (such as corn stover and wheat straw), perennial grasses, legumes, algae, and other biological materials. Currently, however, the most heavily utilized material is corn starch. Industrial fuel ethanol production in the US primarily uses corn, because it is readily converted into fuel at a relatively low cost compared to other biomass sources. The production of corn-based ethanol in the US ...


Costs Of Pelleting To Enhance The Logistics Of Distillers Grains Shipping, Kurt A. Rosentrater, Elif Kongar Oct 2009

Costs Of Pelleting To Enhance The Logistics Of Distillers Grains Shipping, Kurt A. Rosentrater, Elif Kongar

Kurt A. Rosentrater

Biofuels, especially corn-based ethanol, can help meet some of the increasing demand for transportation fuels. Currently, the most heavily utilized substrate is corn grain, which is readily converted into ethanol at a relatively low cost compared to other biomass sources. The production of ethanol in the U.S. has been dramatically increasing during the last several years; so too has the quantity of manufacturing coproducts. These nonfermentable residues are most often dried and sold as distillers dried grains with solubles – DDGS. Even though these materials are used to feed livestock in local markets, as the size of the industry continues ...


Modeling The Effects Of Value-Added Processing And Logistics Using Arena, Kurt A. Rosentrater, Elif Kongar Mar 2008

Modeling The Effects Of Value-Added Processing And Logistics Using Arena, Kurt A. Rosentrater, Elif Kongar

Kurt A. Rosentrater

Scarcity and cost of nonrenewable fossil fuels have been a growing focus of many energy-dependent nations, including the U.S., for the past couple of decades. There are mainly two ways to approach these problems: (1) reducing the energy dependency and/or (2) developing alternative means of energy production. Utilizing biofuels, which are renewable sources of energy, is a promising way to produce energy. But, as this industry grows, so too does the quantity of byproducts, which are known as DDGS. This paper discusses a model that has been developed to analyze the economic viability of DDGS processing, and includes ...


The Importance Of Emerging Biobased Industries To Engineering And Technology, Kurt A. Rosentrater, R. Balamuralikrishma Oct 2006

The Importance Of Emerging Biobased Industries To Engineering And Technology, Kurt A. Rosentrater, R. Balamuralikrishma

Kurt A. Rosentrater

Our society has developed an insatiable demand for energy and material goods. Historically, these needs have been met primarily by fossil fuels and other non-renewable raw materials. As environmental concerns grow, however, renewable resources are gaining increased attention. This paper examines the emergence and importance that biobased industries are increasingly beginning to play. A biobased enterprise, similar in concept to a traditional refinery or factory, utilizes conversion technologies to produce various products. These operations are rapidly increasing both in number as well as in capacity throughout this country, and are poised to add significantly to the nation’s energy and ...


The Global Relevance Of Bio-Based Industries To Engineering And Technology Education, Kurt A. Rosentrater, Radha Balamuralikrishma Jun 2006

The Global Relevance Of Bio-Based Industries To Engineering And Technology Education, Kurt A. Rosentrater, Radha Balamuralikrishma

Kurt A. Rosentrater

The society in which we live has developed an insatiable demand for energy and material goods. In particular, recent data reveals that the aggressive pursuit of improved standards of living in the highly populated countries of India and China has contributed to increased demand for fossil fuels, which has exacerbated the recent spike in energy costs. Historically, these needs have been met primarily by fossil fuels and other non-renewable raw materials. As environmental concerns grow, however, renewable resources are gaining increased attention. This paper examines the emergence and importance that bio-based industries are increasingly beginning to play. A bio-based enterprise ...


Expanding The Role Of Systems Modeling: Considering Byproduct Generation From Biofuel Production, Kurt A. Rosentrater Jan 2006

Expanding The Role Of Systems Modeling: Considering Byproduct Generation From Biofuel Production, Kurt A. Rosentrater

Kurt A. Rosentrater

The bioethanol industry has been experiencing rapid growth over the past several years, and is expected to continue to increase production for the foreseeable future. A vital component to the success of this industry is the sales and marketing of processing residues, which are primarily sold as dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS). Systems modeling, a technique that has been used to predict future demand for bioethanol, can also be used to determine potential byproduct generation rates. This paper discusses the development of one such model, and presents predicted generation of DDGS as well as carbon dioxide emissions from this ...