Feedstock Production: Growing the Right Crops
The scientists in this theme will employ the “plants-as-factories” paradigm, in which biofuels, bioproducts, high-value molecules, and foundation molecules for conversion are synthesized directly in plant stems. This plants-as-factories approach circumvents the challenges of developing efficient lignocellulose deconstruction methods, while still retaining residual biomass for deconstruction by traditional or emerging methods.The main thrust of projects will be on high-yielding grasses throughout the rain-fed eastern U.S., including on marginal soils. CABBI will focus on Sorghum, Sugarcane, Energycane, and Miscanthus. Sorghum and Sugarcane are the world’s highest biomass producers with demonstrated potential for accumulation of oil in vegetative biomass after successful metabolic engineering.
Stephen Moose: Theme Leader
Moose, a Professor of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has more than 20 years of experience directing projects from a wide range of funding institutions, including federal agencies such as DOE, NSF and USDA as well as from companies including Pioneer, BP, Hi Fidelity Genetics, and BASF. He develops new approaches to increase yields with lower input costs and to help mitigate environmental issues associated with nitrogen. His work reveals how genes cooperate to control plant traits important to both productivity and nutritional quality. He received his Ph.D. in Genetics and Crop Science in 1995 at North Carolina State University.
Matthew Hudson: Deputy Theme Leader
Hudson, a Professor of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, uses supercomputing and DNA sequencing to solve problems in plant, animal, and human genetics. He employs computational biology, bioinformatics, genome sequencing, and molecular biology to study crop breeding as well as ways to treat and prevent diseases. He is interested in the genetics of crop traits and the genetic and molecular interactions of crops with pathogens, pests, and other organisms. He got his Ph.D. in Biology in 1998 from the University of Leicester.
Kankshita Swaminathan: Deputy Theme Leader
Swaminathan, a Faculty Investigator at HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology in Huntsville, Ala., is an expert in in perennial grasses, phenotyping and applications of genomics for plant customization and modification. Her research focus is on genomic solutions to sustainable agriculture — with a particular interest in using genetics to understand the role of the rhizome (modified underground stems) in nutrient storage and reproduction, resource reallocation and perenniality in plants. Swaminathan received her Ph.D. in Biology in 2005 from Dartmouth College.
The Research Team
The Research Team
Professor of Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology, University of Florida
Assistant Professor of Plant Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professor of Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University
The Operating Team
An alphabetical listing of all postdocs, research technicians, and graduate students doing CABBI research in the Feedstock Production Theme.
Mohammad Belaffif, Genomics Postdoc (Swaminathan), HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology
Sachin Heerah, Plant Biology Ph.D. Candidate (Marshall-Colón), University of Ill. at Urbana-C.
Madara Hetti Arachchilage, iSEE Postdoc (Marshall-Colón), University of Illinois at Urbana-C.
Brandon James, Molecular Biology Postdoc (Swaminathan), HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology
Baskaran Kannan, Biological Scientist (Altpeter), University of Florida
Hae Jin Kim, Biochemistry Postdoc (Cahoon), University of Nebraska
Sang Yeol Kim, Plant Biology Postdoc (Ort), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Nicholas LaBonte, Crop Sciences Postdoc (Sacks), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dan Lanier, Crop Sciences Academic Hourly Researcher (Hudson), University of Ill. at Urbana-C.
Shuai Li, Plant Biology Postdoc (Ainsworth), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Sarah Lipps, IGB Academic Hourly Researcher (Sacks), University of Ill. at Urbana-Champaign
Guangbin Luo, Agronomy Postdoc (Altpeter), University of Florida
Himaya Mula-Michel, Agronomy Postdoc (Hale), U.S. Dept. of Ag. Agricultural Research Service
Tara Nazarenus, Plant Lipid Biology Research Technician (Cahoon), University of Nebraska
Tufan Oz, Agronomy Postdoc (Altpeter), University of Florida
Ki Youl Park, Plant Lipid Biology Postdoc (Cahoon), University of Nebraska
Truyen Quach, Plant Science Research Professor (Clemente), University of Nebraska
Tony Trieu, Research Technician (Swaminathan), HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology
Duoduo Wang, Agronomy Postdoc (Altpeter), University of Florida
Ya Chi Yu, Plant Biology Visiting Research Specialist (Chen), University of Illinois at Urbana-C.
Joe Zimmerman, iSEE Lab Technician (Sacks), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign