University-Based Bioenergy Research
Since 2006 the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy have invested nearly $70 million to identify key genes affecting biomass yield and quality to improve the efficiency of biofuel production. As part of this Plant Feedstocks Genomics for Bioenergy research program, two Michigan universities were recently awarded grants. Michigan Tech will get $1.1 million for a project to analyze genetic traits in the poplar species that affect wood biomass yield and quality. Michigan State University will receive $1.2 million to analyze how switchgrass responds to different environmental stresses such as drought and high levels of salt.