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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number BBS/E/W/00003134E
Title Post-harvest modifications and implications for recovery of bioenergy or biorenewables
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) 50%;
BIOLOGICAL AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES (Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science) 50%;
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 £998,400
Industrial Sectors Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Region Wales
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr IS (Iain ) Donnison , IBERS, Aberystwyth University (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Dr A (Ana ) Winters , IBERS, Aberystwyth University (0.001%)
Dr I (Ifat ) Parveen , IBERS, Aberystwyth University (0.001%)
Web Site
Objectives Objectives not supplied
Abstract Optimized harvesting, storage and processing of plant biomass are essential for the efficient recovery of bioenergy and other biorenewables. The characterisation of traits linked to post-harvest deterioration of biomass will provide targets for plant breeding and information for the development and optimization of technologies to minimise the losses which occur via respiration, tissue damage, senescence and microbial degradation. Respiration and microbial activity will potentially result in carbon losses while senescence ultimately results in hydrolysis of carbohydrates, nucleic acids and protein polymers and cell wall degradation. Wounding typically results in increased polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase activity. These enzymes are present in Miscanthus and Lolium leaf tissues. Polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase activities result in the production of quinones which readily bind with proteins and other plant components with nucleolphilic sites such as cell-wall phenolics. The implications of these enzyme activities are an inactivation of plant hydrolytic enzymes, and a decreased degradability of cell walls and lipids. These changes may have adverse effects on biomass fermentation by preventing plant enzyme activity from increasing bioavailability and by making cell-walls less degradable. Alternatively, these properties may prevent carbon losses via respiration and microbial activity and may be of benefit for thermal conversion processes. This sub-programme involves biochemical and transcriptomic studies on post-harvest biomass. This data is also been related to senescence and enzyme activities, eg. for PPO/ peroxidase/ glycosidase. Changes in potential natural products, as detected by LC-MS are being characterised and linked to transcript analyses. The objective is to identify molecular markers and genes associated to QTL for post-harvest traits in biorenewable crops. Candidate genes and associated regulatory regions will be functionally tested in Miscanthus.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 30/09/13