go to top scroll for more


Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number BBS/E/W/00003134D
Title Regulation of polyphenolics and genetic manipulation of lignins in grasses
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Bio-Energy, Other bio-energy) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields BIOLOGICAL AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES (Biological Sciences) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr IS (Iain ) Donnison
No email address given
Aberystwyth University
Award Type Institute Project
Funding Source BBSRC
Start Date 01 April 2008
End Date 31 March 2012
Duration 48 months
Total Grant Value £707,200
Industrial Sectors Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Region Wales
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr IS (Iain ) Donnison , IBERS, Aberystwyth University (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Dr G (Gordon ) Allison , IBERS, Aberystwyth University (0.001%)
Dr M (Maurice ) Bosch , IBERS, Aberystwyth University (0.001%)
Web Site
Objectives Objectives not supplied
Abstract For fermentation, pyrolysis based transport fuel applications, and possibly gasification, a reduction in lignin levels or altered lignin structures and distributions within the plant will enhance the value of grasses entering industrial processes; whereas for combustion applications, increased lignin levels and high calorific value would be desirable. We have established technologies for monitoring lignin and phenolic acids in natural, mutant and transgenic populations of forages and have been extending this to energy crops including Miscanthus. Brown midrib (bmr) mutants of maize are known to have modified lignin structure and exhibit increased digestibility and we have shown that these mutants show higher rates of enzyme mediated sugar release than control plants. As such it may be predicted that the lignocellulose fraction of bmr mutants of Miscanthus may be more amenable to both enzymic release of cell wall sugars by fermentation or for production of high quality bio-oils via pyrolysis. Characterised bmr mutants occur in the CAD and OMT genes of the lignin biosynthetic pathway and opportunities exist for generating bmr mutants in Miscanthus by down-regulation of CAD and OMT gene expression. The CAD gene has been cloned in Miscanthus and is being used in an RNAi experiment in Miscanthus to mis-express the gene.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 07/10/13