Genomic Science Program. Click to return to home page.
Department of Energy Office of Science. Click to visit main DOE SC site.

Genomic Science Program

2009 Awardee

Improving Alfalfa as a Biofuel Feedstock

INVESTIGATORS: E. Charles Brummer, Maria J. Monteros, Steven J. Knapp, and Gregory D. May

INSTITUTIONS: University of Georgia, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc., National Center for Genome Resources

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Alfalfa, widely grown in the United States as a hay crop, can also be used for bioenergy. At harvest, alfalfa leaves would be removed as a high-protein animal feed, leaving less nutritious stems to be used for energy production. Biofuel crops must maximize the production of energy, which requires high yields of biomass with optimum fuel quality. The long-term goal of our project is to develop alfalfa biofuel-ready cultivars that have improved yield and quality.

OBJECTIVES:  To reach that goal, this project specifically seeks (1) to develop genetic markers in genes that we suspect may control biomass composition and yield, (2) to screen alfalfa plants with the markers to identify the genetic variants that each plant possesses, and (3) to associate those markers with yield and cell-wall composition measured on the same plants that were grown in the field.

APPROACH: The markers we are developing represent DNA sequence changes between individual plants. Therefore, by examining the coincidence of particular plants having, for example, high yield and a particular DNA variant at a specific marker, we can identify markers that will be useful to improve yield. The markers we identify that are associated with optimal biofuel characteristics will be directly integrated into our traditional field-oriented alfalfa breeding programs to improve breeding efficiency. These markers will speed the development of biofuel-ready alfalfa cultivars for farmers.

PROJECT CONTACT:
Name: E. Charles Brummer
Phone: 706-542-8847
Fax: 706-583-8120
Email: brummer@uga.edu

 

News

  • JGI 13th Annual Genomics of Energy and Environment Meeting March 13-16, 2018. See website for dates and more information. [10/17]
  • Department of Energy Provides $40 Million for Four DOE Bioenergy Research Centers news article [07/17]
  • More News and Announcements »

Featuring

Biosystems Design to Enable Next-Generation Biofuels (Summary of Funded Projects) [12/17]


Technologies for Characterizing Molecular and Cellular Systems Relevant to Bioenergy and Environment [9/17]


ASCR BER Exascale Requirements Review [9/17]


Research

Publication Highlights

    • Publication Highlights »
    • Search Highlights