Plants: biofactories for a sustainable future?
Summary of "Plants: biofactories for a sustainable future?"
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
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21464074
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2010.0347
Wheat is one of the most important cereal food crops in the world today. The productivity and quality of this crop is greatly affected by environmental conditions during grain filling. In this study, ...
We employ an integrated systems modeling tool to assess the water impacts of the new source performance standards recently proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for limiting CO2 emissio...
Synthetic linear antimicrobial peptides with cationic α-helical structures, such as BP100, have potent and specific activities against economically important plant pathogenic bacteria. They are also ...
This paper describes the basis of a stakeholder-based sustainable optimisation indicator (SOI) system to be developed for small-to-medium sized activated sludge (AS) wastewater treatment plants (WwTPs...
Phytochemicals are structurally diverse secondary metabolites synthesized by plants and also by non-pathogenic endophytic microorganisms living within plants. Phytochemicals help plants to survive env...
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...
These are ethnomedicine studies of plants used by rural and indigenous peoples for pain and oral inflammation relief.
Horticultural Therapy (HT) uses plants, gardening, and the close relationship between well-beings and plants. It integrates effort, hope, expectation, harvest and the enjoyment of whole pr...
Trace elements, bioactive secondary metabolites and vitamins are among the most important quality parameters in plants. Yet, very little information is available on their content, bioavail...
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
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.