Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

To Maximize Biofuel Potential, Researchers Look For Sorghum's 'Sweet Spot'

Date:
September 14, 2007
Source:
Texas A&M University
Summary:
While sweet sorghum and sugarcane are close relatives, the researchers have shown that the two species have different ways of moving and storing sugar. Tracer sucrose is inserted into growing plants, using a system similar to an IV. Once the sucrose is inside the plants, the researchers can track the movement and distribution.

Researchers insert an IV into the sorghum plant as a means of infusing the tracer sucrose, so that they can track the movement and distribution of sugar within the growing plant.
Credit: Image courtesy of Texas A&M University

Picture this – IV (intravenous) lines in a sorghum field. It's not as far-fetched as it sounds. It's one way that scientists at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station are researching crops that may contribute to the biofuel revolution.

Related Articles


In Beaumont, Dr. Lee Tarpley, plant physiologist, and College Station colleague, Dr. Don Vietor, professor of crop physiology, have focused their research on sweet sorghum.

While sweet sorghum and sugarcane are close relatives, the researchers have shown that the two species have different ways of moving and storing sugar. Tracer sucrose is inserted into growing plants, using a system similar to an IV. Once the sucrose is inside the plants, the researchers can track the movement and distribution.

They found that, due to the plant's physiology, sweet sorghum appears to be more efficient in reusing the stored sugar to support growth of other parts of the plant. The mechanisms in sugarcane, however, allow it to accumulate very high levels of sucrose.

"The differences are critical, and need to be understood for breeders to develop new varieties specifically for the biofuel industry," Tarpley said. Sweet sorghum and sugarcane are both well suited for this purpose.

"While sorghum is an annual and can fit well into a crop rotation, sugarcane is a suitable perennial for many areas," Tarpley said. But to maximize the potential of sweet sorghum as a biofuel crop, breeders need to understand the physiology of the plant and not use sugarcane as a model.

"There is a large body of research on sugarcane that was previously thought to apply equally well to sorghum. Instead, we need to fully understand how sorghum moves and stores sugar in order to elevate to the next level in our breeding efforts," Tarpley said.

The study results were published in the June 2007 issue of BMC Plant Biology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University. "To Maximize Biofuel Potential, Researchers Look For Sorghum's 'Sweet Spot'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070912154613.htm>.
Texas A&M University. (2007, September 14). To Maximize Biofuel Potential, Researchers Look For Sorghum's 'Sweet Spot'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070912154613.htm
Texas A&M University. "To Maximize Biofuel Potential, Researchers Look For Sorghum's 'Sweet Spot'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070912154613.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins