Special Issue: Bioenergy Plants    

March 2011, Volume 53 Issue 3, Pages 178ĘC256.

Cover Caption: Bioenergy Plants (Free Access)
About the cover: Facing the challenge of declining fossil fuel supplies, scientists are looking for alternative energy resources from plants. Plant derived energy may contribute to sustainable energy security, with decreased emissions of CO2. This is the second and final issue in which JIPB provides up-to-date research in this area. The diagram on the cover illustrates essential inputs required for the capture of sunlight to produce biomass, and how biomass can be exploited to produce light, electricity and transport fuels (Cover design: Ying Wang).


          Invited Expert Reviews
Sorghum Insect Problems and Management  
Author: Chunshan Guo, Wei Cui, Xue Feng, Jianzhou Zhao and Guihua Lu
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2011 53(3): 178-192
Published Online: December 7, 2010
DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.01019.x

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) has high levels of starch, sugar, and fiber and is one of the most important energy crops in the world. Insect damage is one of the challenges that impacts sorghum biomass production. There are at least 150 insect species that can infest sorghum varieties worldwide. These insects can complete several generations within a growing season, they target various parts of sorghum plants at developmental stages, and they cause significant biomass losses. Genetic research has revealed the existence of resistant genetics in sorghum and insect tolerant sorghum varieties have been identified. Various control methods have been developed, yet more effective management is needed for increasing sorghum biomass production. Although there are no transgenic sorghum products on the market yet, biotechnology has been recognized as an important tool for controlling insect pests and increasing sorghum production.


Guo CS, Cui W, Feng X, Zhao JZ, Lu G (2011) Sorghum insect problems and management. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(3), 178–192.

Abstract (Browse 1789)  |  References  |  Full Text HTML  |  Full Text PDF  |  Cited By       
          Research Articles
Expression Profiling of Cassava Storage Roots Reveals an Active Process of Glycolysis/Gluconeogenesis  
Author: Jun Yang, Dong An and Peng Zhang
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2011 53(3): 193-211
Published Online: December 7, 2010
DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.01018.x

Mechanisms related to the development of cassava storage roots and starch accumulation remain largely unknown. To evaluate genome-wide expression patterns during tuberization, a 60 mer oligonucleotide microarray representing 20 840 cassava genes was designed to identify differentially expressed transcripts in fibrous roots, developing storage roots and mature storage roots. Using a random variance model and the traditional twofold change method for statistical analysis, 912 and 3 386 upregulated and downregulated genes related to the three developmental phases were identified. Among 25 significantly changed pathways identified, glycolysis/gluconeogenesis was the most evident one. Rate-limiting enzymes were identified from each individual pathway, for example, enolase, L-lactate dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase for glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, and ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase, starch branching enzyme and glucan phosphorylase for sucrose and starch metabolism. This study revealed that dynamic changes in at least 16% of the total transcripts, including transcription factors, oxidoreductases/transferases/hydrolases, hormone-related genes, and effectors of homeostasis. The reliability of these differentially expressed genes was verified by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. These studies should facilitate our understanding of the storage root formation and cassava improvement.

Yang J, An D, Zhang P (2011) Expression profiling of cassava storage roots reveals an active process of glycolysis/gluconeogenesis. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(3), 193–211.

Abstract (Browse 1834)  |  References  |  Full Text HTML  |  Full Text PDF  |  Cited By       
Genome-wide Expansion and Expression Divergence of the Basic Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors in Higher Plants with an Emphasis on Sorghum  
Author: Jizhou Wang, Junxia Zhou, Baolan Zhang, Jeevanandam Vanitha, Srinivasan Ramachandran and Shu-Ye Jiang
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2011 53(3): 212-231
Published Online: December 7, 2010
DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.01017.x

Plant bZIP transcription factors play crucial roles in multiple biological processes. However, little is known about the sorghum bZIP gene family although the sorghum genome has been completely sequenced. In this study, we have carried out a genome-wide identification and characterization of this gene family in sorghum. Our data show that the genome encodes at least 92 bZIP transcription factors. These bZIP genes have been expanded mainly by segmental duplication. Such an expansion mechanism has also been observed in rice, arabidopsis and many other plant organisms, suggesting a common expansion mode of this gene family in plants. Further investigation shows that most of the bZIP members have been present in the most recent common ancestor of sorghum and rice and the major expansion would occur before the sorghum-rice split era. Although these bZIP genes have been duplicated with a long history, they exhibited limited functional divergence as shown by nonsynonymous substitutions (Ka)/synonymous substitutions (Ks) analyses. Their retention was mainly due to the high percentages of expression divergence. Our data also showed that this gene family might play a role in multiple developmental stages and tissues and might be regarded as important regulators of various abiotic stresses and sugar signaling.

Wang J, Zhou J, Zhang B, Vanitha J, Ramachandran S, Jiang SY (2011) Genome-wide expansion and expression divergence of the basic leucine zipper transcription factors in higher plants with an emphasis on sorghum. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(3), 212–231.

Abstract (Browse 2432)  |  References  |  Full Text HTML  |  Full Text PDF  |  Cited By       
Transferability of Microsatellite Markers from Brachypodium distachyon to Miscanthus sinensis, a Potential Biomass Crop F  
Author: Hua Zhao, Jiangyan Yu, Fank M. You, Mingcheng Luo and Junhua Peng
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2011 53(3): 232-245
Published Online: December 22, 2010
DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.01026.x

Miscanthus sinensis has high biomass yield and contributed two of the three genomes in M. x giganteus, a bioenergy crop widely studied in Europe and North America, and thus is a potential biomass crop and an important germplasm for Miscanthus breeding. Molecular markers are essential for germplasm evaluation, genetic analyses and new cultivar development in M. sinensis. In the present study, we reported transferability of simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers from Brachypodium distachyon to M. sinensis. A set of 57 SSR markers evenly distributed across the B. distachyon genome were deliberately designed. Out of these B. distachyon SSR markers, 86.0% are transferable to M. sinensis. The SSR loci amplified in M. sinensis were validated by re-sequencing the amplicons. The polymorphism information content (PIC) of the transferable SSR markers varied from 0.073 to 0.375 with a mean of 0.263, assessed based on 21 M. sinensis genotypes. Phylogenetic tree based on 162 alleles detected by 49 SSR markers could unambiguously distinguish B. distachyon from M. sinensis, and cluster 21 M. sinensis genotypes into three groups that are basically in coincidence with their geographical distribution and ecotype classifications. The markers developed by the comparative genomic approach could be useful for germplasm evaluation, genetic analysis, and marker-assisted breeding in Miscanthus.

Zhao H, Yu J, You FM, Luo M, Peng JH (2011) Transferability of microsatellite markers from Brachypodium distachyon to Miscanthus sinensis, a potential biomass crop. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(3), 232–245.

Abstract (Browse 2094)  |  References  |  Full Text HTML  |  Full Text PDF  |  Cited By       
Two-stage Hydrolysis of Invasive Algal Feedstock for Ethanol Fermentation  
Author: Xin Wang, Xianhua Liu and Guangyi Wang
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2011 53(3): 246-252
Published Online: December 17, 2010
DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.01024.x

The overall goal of this work was to develop a saccharification method for the production of third generation biofuel (i.e. bioethanol) using feedstock of the invasive marine macroalga Gracilaria salicornia. Under optimum conditions (120 °C and 2% sulfuric acid for 30 min), dilute acid hydrolysis of the homogenized invasive plants yielded a low concentration of glucose (4.1 mM or 4.3 g glucose/kg fresh algal biomass). However, two-stage hydrolysis of the homogenates (combination of dilute acid hydrolysis with enzymatic hydrolysis) produced 13.8 g of glucose from one kilogram of fresh algal feedstock. Batch fermentation analysis produced 79.1 g EtOH from one kilogram of dried invasive algal feedstock using the ethanologenic strain Escherichia coli KO11. Furthermore, ethanol production kinetics indicated that the invasive algal feedstock contained different types of sugar, including C5-sugar. This study represents the first report on third generation biofuel production from invasive macroalgae, suggesting that there is great potential for the production of renewable energy using marine invasive biomass.

Wang X, Liu X, Wang G (2011) Two-stage hydrolysis of invasive algal feedstock for ethanol fermentation. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(3), 246–252.

Abstract (Browse 2217)  |  References  |  Full Text HTML  |  Full Text PDF  |  Cited By       
          Meeting Report
Energy Crop and Biotechnology for Biofuel Production  
Author: Liangcai Peng and Neal Gutterson
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2011 53(3): 253-256
Published Online: January 10, 2011
DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.01014.x
Abstract (Browse 1592)  |  References  |  Full Text HTML  |  Full Text PDF  |  Cited By       
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