Open-source plant database confirms top US bioenergy crop

From www.eurekalert.com

Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

IMAGE: Miscanthus plots (left and right) tower over kitty-corner plots of switchgrass (top and bottom) at the University of Illinois Energy Farm. A new study used a bioenergy database to confirm... view more

Credit: L. Brian Stauffer, University of Illinois

Scientists have confirmed that Miscanthus, long speculated to be the top biofuel producer, yields more than twice as much as switchgrass in the U.S. using an open-source bioenergy crop database gaining traction in plant science, climate change, and ecology research.

"To understand yield trends and variation across the country for our major food crops, extensive databases are available--notably those provided by the USDA Statistical Service," said lead author Stephen Long, Gutgsell Endowed Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. "But there was nowhere to go if you wanted to know about biomass crops, particularly those that have no food value such as Miscanthus, switchgrass, willow trees, etc."

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