CSU and 9 institutions share $13.8M grant to discover best sorghum traits for biofuel production

Tuesday October 20, 2015 0 comments Tags: Fort Collins, CSU, sorghum, DOE, Alan Rudolph, biofuels


FORT COLLINS -- Colorado State University is one of 10 institutions that will share a $13.8 million research grant to improve sorghum as a sustainable source for biofuel production.CSU_logoUSE_1

Most U.S. biofuels are currently made from corn, but some sorghum varieties have more biomass for cellulosic ethanol, making it a top contender to replace corn-based biofuels and relieve pressure on an important food source.

Funded by the U.S. DOE, the five-year grant will take a comprehensive approach to better understanding how plants and microbes interact and which sorghum germplasm grows better with less water and nitrogen.

CSU will work with scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Danforth Plant Science Center, Washington State University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Boyce Thompson Institute, Clemson University, Iowa State University and the DOE-Joint Genome Institute.

“Systems biology approaches to exploiting the efficient conversion of new sources of biomass to fuels is an important contribution that will be needed as we continue to collaborate extensively to provide alternatives to fossil fuels,” said Alan Rudolph, CSU’s VP for research.

Collaborating across disciplines will allow the team to experiment and find the genetic and microbial combinations with the greatest productivity benefits, CSU said.