Carbon dioxide fuels photosynthesis, the process by which plants generate their food in the form of carbohydrates. The atmosphere's carbon dioxide levels are rapidly increasing, but there is uncertainty about whether plants can turn these extra resources into higher yields while retaining nutritional quality.
One of the most significant challenges of the 21st Century is how to sustainably feed a growing and more affluent global population with less water and fertilizers on shrinking acreage, despite stagnating yields, threats of pests and disease, and a changing climate.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded the University of Illinois a $10.6 million, five-year grant to transform two of the most productive crops in America into sustainable sources of biodiesel and biojet fuel. The new research project Renewable Oil Generated with Ultra-productive Energycane—or ROGUE—kicks off on Feb. 25 with a team meeting held in conjunction with the 2018 Genomic Sciences Program Annual Principal Investigator Meeting in Tysons, Virginia.