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The application of high throughput DNA sequencing in the identification of hybrid poplar feedstock varieties for the biofuels industry

SOF117
  • Project Leaders: Jim Mattsson
  • Institutions: Simon Fraser University (SFU)
  • Budget: $275,413
  • Competition: Strategic Opportunities Fund - Round 2
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome BC
  • Fiscal Year: 2009
  • Status: Closed

The realities of global warming and the volatile oil market have triggered a movement to replace part of the fossil fuel reliance with renewable fuels. A solution was proposed to use cellulose as feedstock for ethanol production. There is a real need to improve the efficiency of the procedure to isolate cellulose, primarily by decreasing the amount of tree lignin for this to become a viable solution. Whilst fast-growing hybrid poplar trees are likely to become the most important and universal cellulosic feedstock in Canada, there was not yet a single poplar variety developed for this purpose. This research identified genetic markers guiding the development of genomics-based selection technology to rapidly generate hybrid poplar varieties that are more suitable as feedstock for ethanol production.