You are here

Production of Oil in Vegetative Tissues


Production of alternative fuels such as biodiesel is on the rise around the world and in the U.S. due to a strong and growing desire to reduce dependency on petroleum-derived diesel fuel. The acceptance of biodiesel has been slowed due to its higher cost relative to petroleum-derived diesel. The higher cost of biodiesel is directly related to the cost of feedstock used for biodiesel production, which is often derived from crops also used for food. The displacement of food crops by energy crops causes higher food prices and is fueling a rapidly growing social, environmental, economical and political push to move away from food crops for alternative fuel production. Michigan State Universitys GLBRC technology increases the oil storage capacity in plants and could help lower biofuel feedstock costs by enabling higher oil yields per acre of feedstock crops. The invention causes plant oil to accumulate in the leaf and stem structures of the plant. Plant oil normally accumulates in seeds. By altering the function of the rigalactosyldiacylglycerol (TGD) proteins, oil accumulates in the leaf and stem structures, which have greater potential oil storage capacity. This allows for more oil to be produced per acre.
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government