Biomass utilization is increasingly considered as a practical way for sustainable energy supply and long-term environment care around the world. In concerns with food security, starch or sugar-based bioethanol and edible-oilderived biodiesel are severely restricted for large scale production. Alternatively, conversion of lignocellulosic residues from food crops could be considered, but due to its recalcitrance, the current biomass process is unacceptably expensive. In this context, genetic breeding of energy crops appears as a promising solution. To fulfil the global world need as both food and biofuel sources, energy crops are expected to be produced with higher yields and especially in marginal lands. This review focus on recent progress and patents dealing with energy plants and the challenges associated with bioenergy development. We also discuss the potential use of molecular approaches including genome sequencing, molecular markers, and genetic transformation for improving specific traits or generating new cultivars of energy plants.
Keywords: Abiotic stress, biomass production, biotechnology, bioenergy, cereals, energy plants, Extreme Environments, Energy Crops, Sugar-Producing Plants, Molecular Markers, Gene Identification, Conventional Breeding Methods, Genome Sequencing, Omics Research, Mutation Induction, Lignin Biosynthesis