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.

His Crop Sciences page >>>

His lab page >>>

His research profile >>>

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.

His Crop Sciences page >>>

His lab page >>>

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.

Her HudsonAlpha page >>>

The Research Team

Lisa Ainsworth

Research Molecular Biologist, U.S. Dept. of Ag. Agricultural Research Service Global Change and Photosynthesis Research, Urbana, IL

Her School of Integrative Biology page >>>

Her USDA ARS page >>>

Her lab page >>>

The Research Team

Fredy Altpeter

Professor of Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology, University of Florida

His Agronomy page >>>

The Research Team

Brian Baldwin

Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University

His Plant and Soil Sciences page >>>

His lab page >>>

Edgar Cahoon

Professor of Biochemistry and Director of Plant Science Innovation, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

His Biochemistry page >>>

His lab page >>>

Li-Qing Chen

Assistant Professor of Plant Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Her School of Integrative Biology page >>>

Thomas Clemente

Eugene W. Price Distinguished Professor of Biotechnology, Center for Plant Science Innovation, University of Nebraska at Lincoln

His Agronomy page >>>

His lab page >>>

Anna Hale

Research Geneticist, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Houma, LA

Her USDA ARS page >>>

The Sugarcane Research Unit page >>>

Andrew Leakey

Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His School of Integrative Biology page >>>

His Crop Sciences page >>>

His lab page >>>

Chang-Jun Liu

Researcher, Brookhaven National Laboratory

His BNL page >>>

The BNL Plant Sciences page >>>

Stephen P. Long

Gutgsell Endowed Professor of Crop Sciences and Plant Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His Crop Sciences page >>>

His lab page >>>

Amy Marshall-Colón

Assistant Professor of Plant Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Her School of Integrative Biology page >>>

Her lab page >>>

Jesse Morrison

Research Associate of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University

His Plant and Soil Sciences page >>>

Donald Ort

Robert Emerson Professor of Plant Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His School of Integrative Biology page >>>

His lab page >>>

Nancy Reichert

Professor of Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University

Her Biological Sciences page >>>

Daniel Rokhsar

Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development, University of California at Berkeley

His Molecular & Cell Biology page >>>

His lab page >>>

Erik Sacks

Associate Professor of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His Crop Sciences page >>>

Jörg Schwender

Researcher, Brookhaven National Laboratory

His BNL page >>>

The BNL Plant Sciences page >>>

John Shanklin

Researcher, Brookhaven National Laboratory

His BNL page >>>

The BNL Plant Sciences page >>>

Anthony Studer

Assistant Professor of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His Crop Sciences page >>>

Changcheng Xu

Researcher, Brookhaven National Laboratory

His BNL page >>>

The BNL Plant Sciences page >>>

The Operating Team

An alphabetical listing of all researchers, postdocs, technicians, and graduate students doing CABBI research in the Feedstock Production Theme.

A-F

MOHAMMED BELAFFIF

Genomics Postdoc

PI: Swaminathan

HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology

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BRYANT BROWN

Greenhouse Manager

PI: Altpeter

University of Florida

JESSICA BUBERT

Crop Sciences Ph.D. Candidate

PI: Moose

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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YINGQI CAI

Plant Biology Postdoc

PI: Shanklin

Brookhaven National Laboratory

GHANA CHALLA

Molecular Plant Biology Postdoc

PIs: Hudson/Marshall-Colón

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

TERESA CLARK 

Plant Biology Postdoc

PI: Schwender

Brookhaven National Laboratory

SMIT DHAKAL 

Crop Sciences Postdoc

PI: Studer

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

PRABIN DHUNGANA

Plant Biology Ph.D. Candidate

PI: Reichert

Mississippi State University

LYNN DORAN

Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology Academic Hourly Researcher

PI: Moose

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

G-L

LU GAN

Plant Lipid Biology Postdoc

PI: Cahoon

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

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ZHENGXIANG GE

Research Technologist

PI: Clemente

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

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ANDREW GREENHAW

Field Technician

PI: Baldwin

Mississippi State University

SACHIN HEERAH

Plant Biology Ph.D. Candidate

PI: Marshall-Colón

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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MADARA HETTI ARACHCHILAGE

iSEE Postdoc

PI: Marshall-Colón

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

BRANDON JAMES

Molecular Biology Postdoc

PI: Swaminathan

HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology

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STEPHEN JINGA

Crop Sciences M.S. Candidate

PI: Moose

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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NAM KYU KANG

iSEE Integration Postdoc

PIs: Ort (Feedstock Production)/Jin (Conversion)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

BASKARAN KANNAN

Biological Scientist

PI: Altpeter

University of Florida

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HAE JIN KIM

Biochemistry Postdoc

PI: Cahoon

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

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SANG YEOL KIM

Plant Biology Research Scientist

PI: Ort

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

NICHOLAS LaBONTE

Crop Sciences Postdoc

PI: Sacks

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

SHUAI LI

Plant Biology Postdoc

PI: Ainsworth

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

More >>>

His research profile >>>

SARAH LIPPS

Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology Academic Hourly Researcher

PI: Sacks

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

HUI LIU

Technical Research Associate

PI: Shanklin

Brookhaven National Laboratory

GUANGBIN LUO

Agronomy Postdoc

PI: Altpeter

University of Florida

M-R
THERESE MITROS

Applications Programmer

PI: Rokhsar

University of California at Berkeley

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HIMAYA MULA-MICHEL

Agronomy Postdoc

PI: Hale

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service

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HANS MÜLLER PAUL

Animal Sciences Ph.D. Candidate

PI: Hudson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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TARA NAZARENUS

Plant Lipid Biology Research Technician

PI: Cahoon

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

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NATALYA NERSESIAN

Research Technologist

PI: Clemente

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

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TUFAN OZ

Agronomy Postdoc

PI: Altpeter

University of Florida

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KI YOUL PARK

Plant Lipid Biology Postdoc

PI: Cahoon

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

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TRUYEN QUACH

Plant Science Research Professor

PI: Clemente

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

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S-Z

SHIRLEY SATO

Research Manager

PI: Clemente

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

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TONY TRIEU

Research Technician

PI: Swaminathan

HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology

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SEBASTIAN VARELA

Agronomy Postdoc

PI: Leakey

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

DUODUO WANG

Agronomy Postdoc

PI: Altpeter

University of Florida

YU WANG

Plant Biology Postdoc

PI: Long

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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LIANG XIAO

Crop Sciences Postdoc

PI: Sacks

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

XUEYI XUE

iSEE Postdoc

PI: Chen

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

YA CHI YU

Plant Biology Visiting Research Specialist

PI: Chen

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ZHIYANG ZHAI

Assistant Scientist

PI: Shanklin

Brookhaven National Laboratory

TIELING ZHANG

Research Technologist

PI: Clemente

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

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ZHIHAI ZHANG

iSEE Postdoc

PI: Hudson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

CHAO ZHOU

Biology Postdoc

PI: Xu

Brookhaven National Laboratory

JOE ZIMMERMAN

iSEE Lab Technician

PI: Sacks

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His research profile >>>

FORMER TEAM MEMBERS

Setu Chakrabarty, iSEE Postdoc (Leakey), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jacob Heldenbrand, Research Programmer (Hudson), University of Illinois at Urbana-C.

Dan Lanier, Crop Sciences Academic Hourly Researcher (Hudson), University of Ill. at Urbana-C.

Robert Twohey, Crop Sciences M.S. Candidate (Studer), University of Ill. at Urbana-Champaign