Developing novel varieties of canola, rice and alfalfa with improved cell wall characteristics
Biobased products, mostly derived from plant biomass, have the potential to improve the sustainability of Canadas natural resources and environmental quality while competing economically. Plant biomass, composed primarily of cell walls and modification of cell wall properties has the potential to improve biomass conversion to biobased products such as biofuels as well as improve feedstock quality in forage crops. Progress towards achieving this goal is currently impeded by a lack of knowledge of how cell walls are assembled and how their structure affects the processing of biomass. The scope of the proposed research is to identify new varieties of crops (rice, canola, and alfalfa) having improved plant biomass properties. These will be identified using a multipronged approach that utilizes state of the art plant molecular biology techniques and novel screening methods.