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Unraveling cell wall architecture of Saccharum spontaneum and its hybrids: insights to better understand the lignocellulosic biomass formation

Grant number: 15/17045-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 28, 2015
Effective date (End): January 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Plant Genetics
Principal Investigator:Gonçalo Amarante Guimarães Pereira
Grantee:Karina Yanagui de Almeida
Supervisor: Michael G. Hahn
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Georgia, Athens (UGA), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:12/05890-1 - Saccharum spontaneum genome for development of energy cane, BP.DR


Saccharum hybrids - sugar cane and energy cane - are important feedstock's sources. Sugar cane is mainly utilized on sugar and ethanol production and energy cane is a prominent biomass-dedicate culture. Breeding of energy canes is based on selection of high biomass Saccharum hybrids with more fiber than sucrose in its composition through crosses between commercial sugarcane varieties and genotypes of Saccharum spontaneum (an wild specie of cane with lignocellulosic biomass desirable characteristics). Cell wall composition and organization impacts the industrial process for wich biomass will be utilized, as in case of plant material recalcitrance for lignocellulosic ethanol production. Saccharum hybrids selected for different applications (sucrose or biomass production) presents variances in polymers content (ex. cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin) and, probably, in fine cell wall structure. Besides the genotypic related differences, cell wall architecture is also defined by tissues type, developmental stages, biotic and abiotic factors. Cell wall composition and organization impacts the lignocellulosic ethanol production, mainly due to lignocellulosic biomass recalcitrance to degradation, a key step to sugar availability for enzymes and fermentation. There is no information in literature regarding S. spontaneum and energy cane hybrids cell wall fine structure. Here, we propose to perform a characterization of fine cell wall architecture patterns of sugar cane and high fiber canes (S. spontaneum and energy cane) using immunological methods. These results will be useful to determine what component in cell wall biomass should be target to improve energy cane features, as recalcitrance and processivity, for lignocellulosic ethanol production.

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