Genetic Enhancement of Sorghum for Biomass Utilization

  • Wilfred VermerrisEmail author
  • Ana Saballos
Part of the Plant Genetics and Genomics: Crops and Models book series (PGG, volume 11)


Biomass produced from sorghum can be utilized as forage and silage to feed ruminant animals and as feedstock for biofuels and bio-based products. The efficiency of biomass utilization is a function of biomass composition and plant architecture. This chapter provides a description of the cell wall polymers that make up the bulk of sorghum biomass, along with information on the genes involved in their biosynthesis. The close evolutionary relationships among the grasses makes it possible to infer gene function across species. Newly developed genomics and bioinformatics resources offer exciting opportunities for the genetic enhancement of sorghum as a biomass crop.


Biomass Bioenergy Biofuels Cell wall Forage Near infrared spectroscopy Pyrolysis Silage 



The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the Office of Science (BER), U.S. Department of Energy, grant DE-FG02-07ER64458 for the research on brown midrib genes and NIRS screening of sorghum mutants described in this chapter. We would also like to acknowledge the participation of several colleagues on this project: The sorghum leaf samples were collected by Dr. Ken Lamb (University of Florida) in collaboration with Dr. Zhanguo Xin (USDA-ARS, Lubbock, TX) and his research staff. We thank Drs. Bryan Penning and Nick Carpita (Purdue University) for sharing their most recent data on maize and sorghum CesA genes. The U.S. National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program (DBI-0217552) and the University of Florida provided funds to purchase the analytical equipment featured in this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Genetics Institute and Agronomy DepartmentUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering and Laboratory of Renewable Resources EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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