Researchers produce world’s first transgenic sweet sorghum

Nov 09, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- UQ (University of Queensland) researchers are leading green energy technology with confirmation of the world’s first transgenic sweet sorghum plants.

Dr Anshu Raghuwanshi, a Research Fellow in UQ's School of Biological Sciences, said sorghum had advantages as a biofuel crop, but until now, tissue culture steps in the process had proven difficult, despite international efforts in recent years.

Dr Raghuwanshi leads a research team that developed the gene transfer system for sweet sorghum, within an industry-collaborative R&D program led by UQ's Professor Robert Birch.

"Sweet sorghum is a promising biofuel crop with potential for cultivation on marginal lands due to relatively high drought tolerance, low water requirement, short growing season and easy propagation by seed," Dr Raghuwanshi said.

"The ability to use gene transfer to help produce improved varieties has significant commercial and industrial potential."

Professor Birch said that development of a transformation system opened up new avenues to tailor sweet sorghum varieties for optimum use in , biofuel and biomaterial production.

"I expect it to be a part of the sustainable ‘green carbon' economy on a global scale into the future," Professor Birch said.

The work to develop the gene transfer system was undertaken in collaboration with CSR Sugar.

Sorghum was highly complementary to sugarcane in the expanding global need for renewable biofuel systems, Dr Raghuwanshi said.

The UQ team is now interested in further development with Australian and international sorghum industry participants.

Provided by University of Queensland (news : web)

Explore further: Iberian pig genome remains unchanged after five centuries

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

OSU 'sweet' biofuels research goes down on the farm

Aug 29, 2007

Oklahoma State University’s sorghum-related biofuels research is taking a localized approach, with the aim of making possible the effective production of ethanol in the farmer’s own field.

Wanted: A Viable Arizona Biofuel Crop

Nov 05, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers at The University of Arizona are considering various crops for bioenergy production that could be grown in Arizona. Bioenergy is the name given to renewable energy made available ...

If only the weeds would keep their genes to themselves

Oct 06, 2009

Family can be a blessing and a curse, and never more so than in the case of crop plants and their wild relatives. These wild and weedy relatives harbor unique and beneficial genes that may no longer be found in their cultivated ...

Biofuels as Invasive Species?

Sep 21, 2006

As the United States looks to crops as possible future sources of energy, a University of Arkansas researcher and his colleagues call for caution, citing the possibility of some biofuel crops becoming invasive ...

Recommended for you

Iberian pig genome remains unchanged after five centuries

8 hours ago

A team of Spanish researchers have obtained the first partial genome sequence of an ancient pig. Extracted from a sixteenth century pig found at the site of the Montsoriu Castle in Girona, the data obtained indicates that ...

New concepts based on advances in animal systematics

10 hours ago

The way in which most multicellular organisms have been classified has been the same for more than a century. Only recently have scientists developed the tools and knowledge to question the way we classify ...

New dawn for pasta wheat in Australia

14 hours ago

The University of Adelaide's durum breeding program today at the Hart Field Day will release a new durum wheat variety called DBA-Aurora which promises a step-change in potential durum production in southern Australia.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

JerryPark
not rated yet Nov 10, 2009
It would be tragic if there were a human food source which could not be bastardized with gene manipulation and patented.

Whatever would we do without the tireless efforts of such as Dr. Anshu Raghuwanshi?