Final Stages of MultiBioPro Research

August 01, 2016

As MultiBioPro nears the end of its 4 year duration, progress has not slowed. In the past months, results from ongoing studies have kept on coming:

VIB has developed an enhanced method for characterization of metabolites and is now applying this on the bark and xylem of poplar. The objective is to build a comprehensive metabolite database for poplar.

KTH identified a region of a protein (non-catalytic domain, CBM3) which modifies the structural properties of the cell wall of tobacco cells. Using an improved method, cellulose nanofibers with improved mechanical performance have been produced and can be used to prepare stronger bio-materials.

MPG are uncovering the genes involved in pollen and root cell wall metabolism and are confirming their functions in tobacco. RHUL have identified a gene involved in lipid metabolism and are also characterising the enzyme in bacteria and N. glauca. Results from these studies will then aid future breeding and engineering of tobacco and poplar plants.

Though the project is in the final stages, the results gathered give rise to many avenues of future work towards the generation of viable multi-purpose bio-refining feedstocks. Even when the project concludes, the work will continue and the achievements will be much longer-lasting.