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Depletion of oil reserves and the associated effects on climate change have prompted a re-examination of the use of plant biomass as a sustainable source of organic carbon for the large-scale production of chemicals and materials. While initial emphasis has been placed on biofuel production from edible plant sugars, the drive to reduce the competition between crop usage for food and non-food applications has prompted massive research efforts to access the less digestible saccharides in cell walls (lignocellulosics). This in turn has prompted an examination of the use of other plant-derived metabolites for the production of chemicals spanning the high-value speciality sectors through to platform intermediates required for bulk production. The associated science of biorefining, whereby all plant biomass can be used efficiently to derive such chemicals, is now rapidly developing around the world. However, it is clear that the heterogeneity and distribution of organic carbon between valuable products and waste streams are suboptimal. As an alternative, we now propose the use of synthetic biology approaches to 're-construct' plant feedstocks for optimal processing of biomass for non-food applications. Promising themes identified include re-engineering polysaccharides, deriving artificial organelles, and the reprogramming of plant signalling and secondary metabolism.
Bioscience Knowledge Transfer Network, IT Centre, York Science Park, Heslington, York YO10 5DG, UK.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences
This issue's cover highlights the vital role that nanostructured materials could play in the sustainable future of our planet. In the past few years, various nanostructured materials (for example grap...
Land plants are a natural group, and Charophyte algae are the closest lineages of land plants and have six morphologically diverged groups. The conjugating green algae (Zygnematales) are now suggested...
The notion of the Mediterranean diet has undergone a progressive evolution over the past 60 years, from a healthy dietary pattern to a sustainable dietary pattern, in which nutrition, food, cultures...
Isolated minority communities in China use traditional plant-based methods of mosquito control. This study is evaluating 4 plants used in this way by monitoring mosquitoes entering houses...
This randomized, double blind, parallel group study, compared the efficacy of spray containing aromatic essential oils of some herbal plants, against placebo in the treatment of patients w...
This research seeks to develop a culturally-acceptable, effective, and sustainable way of utilizing the rapidly growing penetration of mobile phones among people in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA...
This study aims to find an effective and sustainable approach to reducing disparities in accessing mental health services for an underserved and growing population group of low-income, rac...
These are ethnomedicine studies of plants used by rural and indigenous peoples for pain and oral inflammation relief.
Centers for storing various parts of the eye for future use.
Organizations established by endowments with provision for future maintenance.
The condition in which reasonable knowledge regarding risks, benefits, or the future is not available.
A course or method of action selected to guide and determine present and future decisions.
An organism of the vegetable kingdom suitable by nature for use as a food, especially by human beings. Not all parts of any given plant are edible but all parts of edible plants have been known to figure as raw or cooked food: leaves, roots, tubers, stems, seeds, buds, fruits, and flowers. The most commonly edible parts of plants are FRUIT, usually sweet, fleshy, and succulent. Most edible plants are commonly cultivated for their nutritional value and are referred to as VEGETABLES.
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism ...
Bioscience - any of the sciences that deal with living organisms. The study of the nature, behavior, and uses of living organisms as applied to biology. Any of the branches of natural science dealing with living things, such as their structure, b...