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Advances made on next generation biofuel

Life Technologies and SG Biofuels report completion of sequencing the Jatropha curcas genome.

Life Technologies Corporation, a provider of life science solutions and SG Biofuels, a bioenergy crop company, have successfully sequenced the oilseed-producing crop Jatropha, and are a step towards identifying its key traits, leading to further development.

Wendy Jozsi, Director of Synthetic Biology at Life Technologies says: “Working with SG Biofuels to sequence the Jatropha genome is an important part of our broader synthetic biology strategy to provide technologies for the development of next generation renewable energy.”

She adds, “There is significant opportunity to use advanced molecular techniques in the optimisation of plant-based biofuels, especially Jatropha, for increased yields and a faster development cycle, ultimately leading to new sources of energy.”

The next step for the partnership is to generate a Jatropha reference genome which would enable the identification of molecular markers and trait genes in order to accelerate the development of elite cultivars with significant yields to be used for biofuels.

Jatropha

Jatropha curcas is a non-edible shrub that is native to Central America. Its seeds contain high amounts of oil that can be used for several of bio-based materials including feedstock substitutes for the diesel, petrochemical and jet fuel industries. It can be grown on marginal lands that are considered undesirable for food crops, making it a viable option as a new biofuel.

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