Protein discovery to hasten biofuel productionAugust 16th, 2008 - 3:30 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Aug 16 (IANS) A new protein necessary for chloroplast development, identified by researchers, is likely to pave the way to tailor plant varieties for biofuel production. Chloroplasts, specialised compartments in plant cells, convert sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into sugars and oxygen during photosynthesis.
The newly discovered protein, trigalactosyldiacylglycerol 4, or TGD4, offers insight into how the process works.
“Nobody knew how this mechanism worked before we described this protein,” said Christoph Benning, Michigan State University (MSU) professor of biochemistry and molecular biology.
“This protein directly affects photosynthesis and how plants create biomass (stems, leaves and stalks) and oils.”
Understanding how TGD4 works may allow scientists to create plants that would be used exclusively to produce biofuels, possibly making the process more cost-effective.
Most plants that are used to produce oils - corn, soybeans and canola, for example - accumulate the oil in their seeds.
“We’ve found that if the TGD4 protein is malfunctioning, the plant then accumulates oil in its leaves,” Benning said. “If the plant is storing oil in its leaves, there could be more oil per plant, which could make production of biofuels such as biodiesel more efficient.”
The results were published in the August issue of The Plant Cell.
- Scientists identify new plant protein that holds promise for biofuel production - Aug 18, 2008
- Scientists say growing grain for food, not fuel, more energy efficient - Apr 20, 2010
- Cuba unveils its first biodiesel plant - Jul 17, 2012
- Common roadside plant could become new source of biofuel - Nov 05, 2010
- Plant found with built-in drought alarm - Jan 13, 2012
- Algae seen as cheapest, greenest bio-diesel source - Feb 18, 2011
- Researchers create biodiesel from microalgae grown in wastewater - Feb 18, 2011
- Canola Oil Production Eyed By Penn State Researchers - Sep 04, 2010
- Cuba tests biofuel vehicle - Jul 23, 2012
- US biodiesel production goes up - May 08, 2012
- What helps plants go green? - Jun 30, 2010
- Adhesives could make biofuels more economically viable - Oct 30, 2009
- Now, 'shrimp cocktail' to power cars and trucks - Jul 30, 2009
- Burning bush plant promises low-cal vegetable oil, biofuels - May 21, 2010
- Scientists develop microbe that produces fuels directly from biomass - Jan 28, 2010
Tags: biochemistry and molecular biology, canola, carbon dioxide, christoph benning, corn soybeans, leaves, michigan state university, msu professor, oxygen, photosynthesis, plant cell, plant cells, plants, protein discovery, scientists, seeds, stalks, stems, sugars, sunlight