infected poplar

Genetic behavior reveals cause of death in poplars essential to ecosystems, industry

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Scientists studying a valuable, but vulnerable, species of poplar have identified the genetic mechanism responsible for the species’ inability to resist a pervasive and deadly disease. Their finding, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to more successful hybrid poplar varieties for increased biofuels and forestry production and protect native trees against infection.

Different networks representing biological relationships are integrated and used to provide multiple lines of evidence (LOE) to discover genes that can be manipulated to enhance biofuels and bioproducts. The illustration shows how it works. High-resolution genomic data combined with co-expression datasets are used to build networks and then the networks are layered. Specific genes (orange) are identified, and a LOE score is calculated for each one (an example of the LOE score calculation is shown) that can

Complex networks identify genes for biofuel crops

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Scientists are using different layers of information combined with new computational approaches to integrate vast amounts of data in a modeling framework. Researchers can now identify genes controlling important traits to target biofuel and bioproduct production. 

Critical plant gene

Critical plant gene takes unexpected detour that could boost biofuel yields

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For decades, biologists have believed a key enzyme in plants had one function—produce amino acids, which are vital to plant survival and also essential to human diets.

But for Wellington Muchero, Meng Xie and their colleagues, this enzyme does more than advertised. They had run a series of experiments on poplar plants that consistently revealed mutations in a structure of the life-sustaining enzyme that was not previously known to exist.

Gregg Beckham

Beckham receives the 2018 Beilby Medal and Prize

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Dr. Gregg Beckham, a recently promoted Senior Research Fellow at NREL, and the Lignin Valorization Team Lead for the Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI), has received the Royal Society of Chemistry, Society of Chemical Industry and Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining Beilby Medal and Prize.

Poplar Logs

Accelerating bioenergy innovation, sharing scientific discoveries in over 1,000 publications

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Generating more than 1,000 publications in peer-reviewed journals, ORNL’s pioneering leadership of two Bioenergy Research Centers has encompassed numerous notable scientific achievements, early-stage technologies and commercial licenses for the development of advanced biofuels and bioproducts.

Richard Dixon Award

Richard Dixon Elected Fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists

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Dr. Richard Dixon, Distinguished Research Professor at the University of North-Texas and Research Domain Lead of Accelerative Science in the Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI), has been named a Fellow of the ASPB.

Art Ragauskas

Art Ragauskas Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

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Arthur Ragauskas, Governor’s Chair in Biorefinery and Research Council Member in the Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI) received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.  Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles. 

Jerry Tuskan

Facebook Live with CBI Director Jerry Tuskan

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Center for Bioenergy Innovation Director, Jerry Tuskan gives a tour of the greenhouses at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and discusses ongoing projects focused on advanced biofuels, sustainable feedstocks and lignin feedstocks for plastics. 

Biomass Characteristics

Characterizing Lignocellulosic Biomass Strategies

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Diverse characterization methods have been developed to elucidate physicochemical, thermal and morphological properties of biomass and its products.  Biofuels Digest ( posted a Guide to Characterizing Lignocellulosic Biomass compiled by CBI members Arthur J.

Plant Journal Award

CBI authors received Silver Award from The Plant Journal

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The Silver Award for “Best Original Article” published in The Plant Journal in 2017 was awarded to the authors of “The Physcomitrella patens chromosome-scale assembly reveals moss genome structure and evolution”.  CBI authors included: Lee Gunter, Wellington Muchero, Priya Ranjan, and Gerald A. Tuskan.

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Tamara Rogers
Tamara Rogers