Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Field trial with lignin modified poplars shows potential for bio-based economy

Date:
December 30, 2013
Source:
VIB
Summary:
The results of a field trial with genetically modified poplar trees in Belgium, shows that the wood of lignin modified poplar trees can be converted into sugars in a more efficient way. These sugars can serve as the starting material for producing bio-based products like bio-plastics and bio-ethanol.

Wood of genetically modified trees.
Credit: VIB

The results of a field trial with genetically modified poplar trees in Zwijnaarde, Belgium, shows that the wood of lignin modified poplar trees can be converted into sugars in a more efficient way. These sugars can serve as the starting material for producing bio-based products like bio-plastics and bio-ethanol.

The results of the field trial have been published in a scientific article in which the results of a field trial of French colleagues of the INRA institute in Orleans have also been incorporated. The article has been published in the online edition of PNAS of 30 December 2013.

The field trial however also showed that the suppression of the lignin biosynthesis in the trees is variable. In some trees the suppression is stronger than in other trees which is visible through a more pronounced red coloration of the wood beneath the bark. Some branches show almost no red coloration, others a spotty pattern and again other a full red coloration. The branches with the highest red coloration produce 160% more ethanol. On the whole the ethanol yield per gram of wood is 20% higher. This in itself is positive, except for the fact that the modified trees appear to grow somewhat less rapid than non-modified poplar trees.

Prof. Wout Boerjan: "The branches with the highest red coloration give us hope that we will be able to achieve our goal in the future. The biosynthesis of lignin is very complex. We will now search for modifications that provide a strong and uniform suppression of the lignin biosynthesis. Because in the meantime we are also getting a pretty good idea of what causes the growth retardation, we immediately will start to work on poplars that grow normal, but still have a stable suppression of the lignin production. It must be possible to improve the ethanol yield per tree with 50 to 100%."

In the poplar trees in the field trial in Zwijnaarde in Belgium the so-called 'CCR-enzyme' is suppressed. This enzyme plays a key role in the biosynthesis of lignin, but its suppression apparently does not lead to a uniform lowering of the amount of lignin. In a new field trial that VIB will start in Wetteren, Belgium, in 2014, trees will be tested in which another enzyme has been suppressed: the 'CAD-enzyme'. In these trees also a more modern way of suppression of the enzyme has been used. This new trial therefore fits into the search for modifications that provide a more uniform suppression of the lignin biosynthesis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by VIB. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Van Acker et al. Improved saccharification and ethanol yield from field-grown transgenic poplar deficient in cinnamoyl-CoA reductase. PNAS, December 2013

Cite This Page:

VIB. "Field trial with lignin modified poplars shows potential for bio-based economy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131230170138.htm>.
VIB. (2013, December 30). Field trial with lignin modified poplars shows potential for bio-based economy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131230170138.htm
VIB. "Field trial with lignin modified poplars shows potential for bio-based economy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131230170138.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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