Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

‘Zoomable’ Map of Poplar Proteins Offers New View of Bioenergy Crop

31.01.2013
Researchers seeking to improve production of ethanol from woody crops have a new resource in the form of an extensive molecular map of poplar tree proteins, published by a team from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Populus, a fast-growing perennial tree, holds potential as a bioenergy crop due to its ability to produce large amounts of biomass on non-agricultural land. Now, a study by ORNL scientists with the Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center has provided the most comprehensive look to date at poplar’s proteome, the suite of proteins produced by a plant’s cells. The study is featured on the cover of January’s Molecular and Cellular Proteomics.

“The ability to comprehensively measure genes and proteins helps us understand the range of molecular machinery that a plant uses to do its life functions,” said ORNL’s Robert Hettich. “This can provide the information necessary to modify a metabolic process to do something specific, such as altering the lignin content of a tree to make it better suited for biofuel production. ”

The ORNL research team measured more than 11,000 proteins in different parts of poplar, including mature leaves, young leaves, roots and stems. This systematic approach yielded a so-called proteome atlas, which maps out the proteins present in the various tissue types at a given point in time. Lead coauthors Paul Abraham and Richard Giannone describe how the atlas offers a broad overview of the poplar proteome and also the ability to zoom in on specific biological features, such as pathways and individual proteins.

“We tried to provide a zoomable view, like Google maps, so you can look at the system from various perspectives,” Abraham said. “By having these different viewpoints, it makes it easier to mine out the relevant biological information.”

Obtaining and analyzing information about plant proteomes is especially tricky, considering a plant such as poplar can potentially manufacture more than 40,000 different proteins. Unlike an organism’s genome, which is the same for every cell and remains constant, the proteome varies from cell to cell and changes over time as the plant adapts to different environmental conditions.

“The analytical techniques we’ve demonstrated allow us to measure the range of proteins very deeply and specifically, so we can start to figure out, for instance, how the protein machinery in a leaf differs from the ones in the trunk,” Hettich said. “Or we can look at a tree that’s very young versus one that’s very old, thus enabling us to understand how all these proteins are changing as a function of the tree growing older.”

Knowing how plants change and adapt to environmental surroundings by altering their proteins could help bioenergy researchers develop poplar trees better suited to biofuel production.

“It’s the proteins that directly alter the morphology, anatomy, and function of a plant cell,” Abraham said. “If we can identify the proteins that create a favorable trait such as fast growth, then we can incorporate that protein or modify it to develop a superior plant with all favorable traits through transgenics.”

The study’s coauthors are ORNL’s Robert Hettich, Paul Abraham, Richard Giannone, Rachel Adams, Udaya Kalluri and Gerald Tuskan.

BESC is one of three DOE Bioenergy Research Centers established by the DOE's Office of Science in 2007. The centers support multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research teams pursuing the fundamental scientific breakthroughs needed to make production of cellulosic biofuels, or biofuels from nonfood plant fiber, cost-effective on a national scale. The three centers are coordinated at ORNL, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in partnership with Michigan State University.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science. DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

Morgan McCorkle | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.ornl.gov

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Neuron and synapse-mimetic spintronics devices developed
17.04.2019 | Tohoku University

nachricht New discovery makes fast-charging, better performing lithium-ion batteries possible
16.04.2019 | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>