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.

STRAIGHT FROM THE SCIENTISTS: Research Profiles Offer Insight into CABBI Work

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 >>>

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

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

His School of Integrative Biology 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 postdocs, research technicians, and graduate students doing CABBI research in the Feedstock Production Theme.

A-F

Mohammad Belaffif, Genomics Postdoc (Swaminathan), HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology

Bryant Brown, Greenhouse Manager (Altpeter), University of Florida

Jessica Bubert, Crop Sciences Ph.D. Candidate (Moose), University of Illinois at Urbana-C.

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

Prabin Dhungana, Plant Biology Ph.D. Candidate (Reichert), Mississippi State University

G-L

Zhengxiang Ge, Research Technologist (Clemente), University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Andrew Greenhaw, Field Technician (Baldwin), Mississippi State University

Sachin Heerah, Plant Biology Ph.D. Candidate (Marshall-Colón), University of Ill. at Urbana-C.

Jacob Heldenbrand, Research Programmer (Hudson), University of Illinois 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

Stephen Jinga, Crop Sciences M.S. Candidate (Moose), University of Illinois at Urbana-C.

Baskaran Kannan, Biological Scientist (Altpeter), University of Florida

Hae Jin Kim, Biochemistry Postdoc (Cahoon), University of Nebraska

Sang Yeol Kim, Plant Biology Research Scientist (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

M-R

Therese Mitros, Applications Programmer (Rokhsar), University of California at Berkeley

Himaya Mula-Michel, Agronomy Postdoc (Hale), U.S. Dept. of Ag. Agricultural Research Service

Hans Müller Paul, Animal Sciences Ph.D. Candidate (Hudson), University of Illinois at Urbana-C.

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

S-Z

Tony Trieu, Research Technician (Swaminathan), HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology

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

Xueyi Xue, iSEE Postdoc (Chen), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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