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Latest Panicum virgatum Stories

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2011-01-27 14:07:47

When it comes to breaking down plant matter and converting it to energy, the cow has it all figured out. Its digestive system allows it to eat more than 150 pounds of plant matter every day. Now researchers report that they have found dozens of previously unknown microbial enzymes in the bovine rumen "“ the cow's primary grass-digestion chamber "“ that contribute to the breakdown of switchgrass, a renewable biofuel energy source. The study, in the journal Science, tackles a major...

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2011-01-11 08:20:00

University of Illinois research reports that several herbicides used on corn also have good selectivity to Miscanthus x giganteus (Giant Miscanthus), a potential bioenergy feedstock. "No herbicides are currently labeled for use in Giant Miscanthus grown for biomass," said Eric Anderson, an instructor of bioenergy for the Center of Advanced BioEnergy Research at the University of Illinois. "Our research shows that several herbicides used on corn are also safe on this rhizomatous grass." M. x...

2011-01-10 14:59:23

Using detailed land analysis, Illinois researchers have found that biofuel crops cultivated on available land could produce up to half of the world's current fuel consumption "“ without affecting food crops or pastureland. Published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the study led by civil and environmental engineering professor Ximing Cai identified land around the globe available to produce grass crops for biofuels, with minimal impact on agriculture or the...

2011-01-07 18:35:00

Developing biofuel from native perennials instead of corn in the Midwest's rolling grasslands would better protect threatened bird populations, Michigan State University research suggests. Federal mandates and market forces both are expected to promote rising biofuel production, MSU biologist Bruce Robertson says, but the environmental consequences of turning more acreage over to row crops for fuel are a serious concern. Ethanol in America is chiefly made from corn, but research is focusing...

2010-12-30 14:29:06

New grasses suggested as alternatives to red fescue Erosion is a significant problem on highway embankments in New England. To mitigate erosion on the regions' highways, slopes are seeded with a grass"“legume mixture that usually including red fescue, a grass preferred for its drought-tolerance and ability to thrive in acidic, infertile soil. "A mixture of red fescue, perennial ryegrass, and kentucky bluegrass is planted to stabilize the soil, but only the red fescue survives long term...

2010-12-29 13:20:00

ARDMORE, Okla., Dec. 29, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scientists at The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation have uncovered a gene responsible for controlling key growth characteristics in plants, specifically the density of plant material. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101229/DC22722) Denser plants have more biomass without increasing the agricultural footprint, meaning farmers and ranchers can produce more plant material from the same sized field. Plants that have...

2010-12-10 09:00:00

MEDFORD, Mass., Dec. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Agrivida, Inc. today announced a collaboration with Syngenta Ventures to develop advanced crop technology that will provide low-cost sugars for a variety of industrial applications. Under the terms of the agreement, Syngenta licenses to Agrivida access to crop technology and intellectual property in return for Agrivida equity. Agrivida will bolster its existing technology portfolio, including its proprietary intein trait platform, with...

2010-11-11 22:14:02

Tinkering with a single gene may give perennial grasses more robust roots and speed up the timeline for creating biofuels, according to researchers at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP). Perennial grasses, including switchgrass and miscanthus, are important biofuels crops and can be harvested repeatedly, just like lawn grass, said Philip Benfey, director of the IGSP Center for Systems Biology. But before that can happen, the root system needs time to get established....

2010-11-08 07:30:00

IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: VSPC) -- a clean energy company growing Giant King(TM) Grass as a low-carbon, renewable biomass crop, today provided an update on business and technical progress. Chief Executive Dr. Carl Kukkonen stated, "I just returned from spending most of October in Asia where I visited the plantation and conducted several tours for potential customers. Visiting the plantation and seeing Giant King Grass in person is an...

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2010-11-04 11:22:23

University of Illinois researchers have confirmed the first report of a potential new virus belonging to the genus Marafivirus in switchgrass, a biomass crop being evaluated for commercial cellulosic ethanol production. The virus is associated with mosaic and yellow streak symptoms on switchgrass leaves. This virus has the potential of reducing photosynthesis and decreasing biomass yield. Members of this genus have been known to cause severe yield losses in other crops. For example, Maize...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'