Dr. Stephen R. Humphrey, Director of Academic Programs, 
School of Natural Resources and Environment, 
Box 116455, 103 Black Hall, University of Florida 
Gainesville, FL  32611-6455  USA 
Tel. 352-392-9230, Fax 352-392-9748 

-----Original Message-----
From: Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tucker, Jennifer M
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 4:03 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy (FISE) Seminar Series-April 8, 2009

Dear Colleagues and Students,
Please join us for the Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy (FISE;<> )  Seminar Series presenting:
Genetic Improvement of Bioenergy Crops

April 8, 2009 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Reitz Union Auditorium
Speaker: Dr. Wilfred Vermerris, University of Florida Genetics Institute and Agronomy Department

There has been a growing interest in the production of transportation fuels from renewable resources as a result of political and environmental concerns. In the United States the majority of fuel ethanol is currently produced from microbial fermentation of sugars derived from the enzymatic hydrolysis of corn starch. Grain supplies will, however, be insufficient to meet anticipated demands of ethanol. Alternative crops that can be used for ethanol production include species that produce sugar such as sugar cane, sweet sorghum, and sugar beet, as well as crops that produce large amounts of vegetative biomass. Vegetative biomass, such as corn and sorghum stover and wood chips, consists largely of plant cell walls. The plant cell wall is a complex matrix that contains the polysaccharides cellulose and hemicellulose, as well as the phenolic polymer lignin, hydroxycinnamic acids, pectin, and proteins. Enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass results in the formation of monomeric sugars that can be fermented by microorganisms to ethanol or other chemical feedstocks. While production of so-called cellulosic ethanol from stover is feasible from an energy balance perspective, its production is currently not economically competitive. Along with improvements in bioprocessing, enhancing the yield and composition of the biomass has the potential to make ethanol production considerably more cost-effective.

In order to enhance biomass crops, it will be necessary to obtain a better understanding of how cell wall composition and structure affect the efficiency of enzymatic hydrolysis. It will also be necessary to identify and develop traits that enhance biomass conversion efficiency and increase biomass yield. This process can be expedited through the development of rapid screening protocols to evaluate biomass conversion efficiency.

This presentation will provide an overview of the genetic and genomics resources available to improve bioenergy crops, with a focus on corn, sorghum and poplar. Challenges include the translation of results from the laboratory to large crop production systems, and the competing demands of crops being amenable to bioprocessing while being agronomically robust.

For our colleagues located in offices off campus, the seminar may viewed via video stream:<>

We look forward to your participation!  Please feel free to forward this email to any interested parties.

If your department or company are interested in presenting a seminar, please contact Jennifer Tucker at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>  or 352-392-7327.

Jennifer M. Tucker
Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy
Materials Science & Engineering
University of Florida
Phone: (352)392-7327
Fax: (352)846-0326
Email: [log in to unmask]<>

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