Sunday, April 7, 2013

Peach genetics can help better understand the crops used for Biofuel

An article in Science Daily helps us understand crops that are good candidates for biofuel are ones that grow fast, like willows are poplars.  Biofuel is fuel resulting for biological carbon fixation, and can be produced by a plants biomass.  To produce biofuel it would be helpful if these crops could be domesticated but to domesticate these crops, one needs to understand the physiology and genetics of the trees.  A peach and poplar tress are both apart of the rosid superfamily, along with some other fruit crops like apples, almonds, roses, and other plants.  The International Peach Genome Initiative published 265 million base genome from the Lovell peach variety.  Peach gene sequencing can help make sustainable improvements for the fruit as well as other tree species in the same superfamily by using comparative genomics.  Peach sequences will also help to understand tree biology.  Size matters when it comes to the peach genome, because it makes it ideal for it to be a model plant.  Researchers found poplar genomes can be related to the peaches, they also improved the biomass of the plant for it to produce more biofuel.  Researchers are focusing on the “evergreen” locus that extends the growing season of the crop, which could potentially control this locus in the poplar tree to increase biomass.

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