Genetic Improvement of Plants for Enhanced Bio-Ethanol Production
Sanghamitra Saha and Srinivasan Ramachandran
Affiliation: City Colleges of Chicago, Harold Washington College, Department of Biology, 30 E Lake St, Chicago, IL 60610, USA.
Keywords: Biofuels, cellulose, cellulases, fermentation, hemicellulase, lignin, lignocelluloses, saccharification, Bio-Ethanol Production, cyanobacteria, LIGNIN CONTENT, Pectin, Plants Expressing a Ligninase, homogalacturonan improves, juvenile phase, swollenin, cellulosic bioethanol, Saccharum officinarum
The present world energy situation urgently requires exploring and developing alternate, sustainable sources for
fuel. Biofuels have proven to be an effective energy source but more needs to be produced to meet energy goals. Whereas
first generation biofuels derived from mainly corn and sugarcane continue to be used and produced, the contentious debate
between ‘’feedstock versus foodstock” continues. The need for sources that can be grown under different environmental
conditions has led to exploring newer sources. Lignocellulosic biomass is an attractive source for production of
biofuel, but pretreatment costs to remove lignin are high and the process is time consuming. Genetically modified plants
that have increased sugar or starch content, modified lignin content, or produce cellulose degrading enzymes are some options
that are being explored and tested. This review focuses on current research on increasing production of biofuels by
genetic engineering of plants to have desirable characteristics. Recent patents that have been filed in this area are also discussed.
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