Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 23-34

First online:

Genetic improvement of poplar feedstock quality for ethanol production

  • Ronald J. DinusAffiliated withDepartment of Wood Science, University of British Columbia

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Opportunities for matching chemical and physical properties of woody feedstocks to ethanol production process requirements via genetic improvement have long been recognized. Exploitation is now feasible owing to advances in trait measurement, breeding, and gene transfer technologies. Poplar genetic parameters are favorable largely for reducing lignin and increasing cellulose contents and specific gravity. Transgenic poplars with decreased lignin and increased cellulose contents, but otherwise normal growth and development, have been produced via genetic transformation. The long-standing debate on feasibility has thus become one of when, not if, designer varieties will become available.

Index Entries

Biomass feedstock quality lignin cellulose wood specific gravity selection and breeding genetic transformation