International Project Aims to Develop Water-Efficient Biofuel Crops
(Phys.Org) Scientists from the University of Liverpool are part of an international research project to apply the properties of drought-adapted desert plants, like agave, to poplar trees, a recognised biofuel crop.
Dr James Hartwell, from the Institute of Integrative Biology, is part of an £8.6 million project, funded by the US Department of Energy that aims to explore the photosynthetic mechanisms of drought-tolerant desert plants and introduce these into poplar trees. Climate change predictions suggest higher temperatures and more frequent severe weather events, including droughts, for later this century. Simultaneously, the challenge of growing enough food to feed the expanding population requires that more productive farmland is used for food production rather than bioenergy. In the face of these combined challenges, there is an urgent and pressing need to improve the ability of biofuel plants to grow productively and sustainably on marginal land that is unsuitable for major food crops. READ MORE and MORE (Biofuels International)