Genetic Improvement of Bioenergy Crops
Edited by W Vermerris
Bioenergy is attracting increasing attention in science, industry, politics and the media as a means
to address energy security, global climate change and economic sustainability. Biofuels - ethanol and biodiesel
- currently represent the only alternative and renewable energy source available as liquid transportation fuel.
The current production of biofuels relies heavily on food crops: grain and sugar for ethanol, and plant oils for
biodiesel. This has raised serious concerns about food supplies, food prices, and long-term sustainability.
Second-generation biofuels are derived from dedicated bioenergy crops that produce plant cell wall
polysaccharides as the main source of fermentable sugars, as well as algae and non-edible oil crops
as a source of oils and lipids for biodiesel.
Hardcover 450 pp ISBN 9780387708041
The development of dedicated bioenergy crops requires an entirely different approach to plant improvement
than what has been traditional for food, feed and fiber crops. This book presents an overview of the major
bioenergy crops that can be used for the production of biomass and ethanol, with a focus on their genetic
improvement. In order to maintain focus, biodiesel and the genetic improvement of oil crops are not covered.
The available genetic resources are largely untapped and offer major opportunities to significantly enhance the
contribution of bioenergy, while addressing many of the economic and ecological concerns.
The chapters have been written by experts in their field and target university students in plant sciences, biological
engineering, or related disciplines, enrolled in a course on bioenergy crops. Researchers in academia and industry
will find this book useful as well. The first part of the book provides background on the politics of bioenergy, the
current ethanol production process, the biosynthesis and analysis of plant cell walls, and processing of biomass,
and includes a primer on genetics and plant breeding. The second part of the book focuses on the genetic
resources available to enhance individual herbaceous and woody species for use as bioenergy feedstocks.
As a whole, Genetic Improvement of Bioenergy Crops provides the first comprehensive overview of the
tremendous potential of dedicated bioenergy crops.
Written for scientists and students working in bio-energy, bioprocess engineering, and plant science
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