Team engineer bioenergy-friendly fungi

The ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccariabicolor, shown in green, wraps the roots of transgenic switchgrass plants. Switchgrass is not known to interact naturally with this type of fungus. The added PtLecRLK1 gene directs the plant to participate in the fungus.Credits: ORNL, US Department of Energy

A team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has successfully introduced the poplar gene into switchgrass, an important biofuel source. This allows switchgrass to interact with beneficial fungi and ultimately increase grass growth and viability in changing environments.

Scientists have observed that the ectomycorrhizal fungus, Laccaria bicolor, wraps around the roots of plants.this ActionAlthough not known to occur naturally between these fungi and switchgrass, it helps plants absorb nutrients and water efficiently. This symbiotic relationship provides switchgrass that is more resistant to illness and drought.

“We designed switchgrass to grow in areas where we usually struggle, that is, in the limits of land that are not suitable for us. Edible crops“Fungi allow switchgrass to absorb minerals from the soil,” said Jay Chen of ORNL.

In a previous study, the team identified a receptor gene that looks for friendly fungi. The team then validates the lab’s findings. Field survey..

Research gives a better understanding of switchgrass, an important bioenergy crop

For more information:
Zhenzhen Qiao et al, for engineering excision corrosion of switchgrass bioenergy crops via lectin receptor-like kinases, Plant Biotechnology Journal (2021). DOI: 10.1111 / pbi.13671

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