Engineered Tobacco Leaves to Produce More Biofuel

By on January 3rd, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010 9:19

Scientists at the Biotechnology Foundations Laboratories at Thomas Jefferson University have developed a new technique to increase biofuel production from tobacco plants.

Researchers claim that tabacco can produce biofuel more efficiently than other agricultural crops. A new study shows that most of the oil is typically found in the seeds and tobacco seeds being composed of about 40 percent oil per dry weight.

“Tobacco is very attractive as a biofuel because the idea is to use plants that aren’t used in food production,” Dr. Andrianov said. “We have found ways to genetically engineer the plants so that their leaves express more oil. In some instances, the modified plants produced 20-fold more oil in the leaves.”

Normally tobacco plant leaves contain 1.7 percent to 4 percent of oil per dry weight. The scientists have found two gens which increase the oil in tobacco leaves: the LEAFY COTYLEDON 2 gene and the diacyglycerol acytransferase (DGAT) gene.

[Source: Physorg]


Posted in category Biodiesel, Biofuel
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