BioEnergy Research

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 399–411 | Cite as

Dedicated Herbaceous Biomass Feedstock Genetics and Development

  • W. F. AndersonEmail author
  • G. Sarath
  • S. Edme
  • M. D. Casler
  • R. B. Mitchell
  • C. M. Tobias
  • A. L. Hale
  • S. E. Sattler
  • J. E. Knoll


Biofuels and bio-based products can be produced from a wide variety of herbaceous feedstocks. To supply enough biomass to meet the needs of a new bio-based economy, a suite of dedicated biomass species must be developed to accommodate a range of growing environments throughout the USA. Researchers from the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) and collaborators associated with the USDA Regional Biomass Research Centers have made major progress in understanding the genetics of switchgrass, sorghum, and other grass species and have begun to use this knowledge to develop new cultivars with high yields and appropriate traits for efficient conversion to bio-based products. Plant geneticists and breeders have discovered genes that reduce recalcitrance for biochemical conversion to ethanol and drop-in fuels. Progress has also been made in finding genes that improve production under biotic and abiotic stress from diseases, pests, and climatic variations.


Warm-season grasses Switchgrass Bioenergy Energycane Napiergrass Sorghum 


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© The Author(s) 2016

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. F. Anderson
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Sarath
    • 2
  • S. Edme
    • 2
  • M. D. Casler
    • 3
  • R. B. Mitchell
    • 2
  • C. M. Tobias
    • 4
  • A. L. Hale
    • 5
  • S. E. Sattler
    • 2
  • J. E. Knoll
    • 1
  1. 1.USDA/ARS Crop Genetics and Breeding Research UnitTiftonUSA
  2. 2.USDA/ARS Grain, Forage and Bioenergy ResearchUNLLincolnUSA
  3. 3.USDA/ARS US Dairy Forage Research CenterMadisonUSA
  4. 4.USDA/ARS Crop Improvement and Genetics ResearchWRRCAlbanyUSA
  5. 5.USDA/ARS Sugarcane Research UnitHoumaUSA

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