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Manipulation of Enabling Microbial Systems for Improved Bioenergy Crops

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0022372
Agency Tracking Number: 0000263147
Amount: $256,500.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: C53-30c
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-02-14
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-11-13
Small Business Information
2531 West 237th Street Suite 127
Torrance, CA 90505-5245
United States
DUNS: 114060861
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Anamika Ray
 (310) 530-2011
Business Contact
 Kisholoy Goswami
Phone: (310) 530-2011
Research Institution

The Department of Energy is seeking the development of microbial amendments for crop production specifically for sustainable bioenergy crops. Of interest are plant growth promoting microbe systems that would improve bioenergy crop growth and increase yield. During the proposed project, the company will manipulate a suite of plant growth promoting microbes encapsulated in nanocellulose hydrogels and scaffolds geared toward increased switchgrass production under non-stress or abiotic stress. Overall, the proposed encapsulated consortium of microbes will increase switchgrass yield by informed management of plant- microbe interactions. In Phase I, the project team will demonstrate the technical feasibility, test, and validate the proposed microbial system. To this end, the team will develop microbial systems and manipulate the microbial consortium in the nanocellulose hydrogels and scaffolds for greater efficiency and controlled release on switchgrass for improved productivity. The team will test and validate the system on fabricated ecosystems and dynamics in reproducible environments that accurately mimic the complexity of natural environments. The proposed plant growth promoting microbe system would find an immediate application in the agricultural microbes’ industry where other microbial systems are currently utilized and are gaining ground over agrochemicals as soil amendments and crop protection. The encapsulated microbes would offer improved consistency, controlled and prolonged release, and prevent microbial inactivation in adverse conditions. The proposed microbial system could be tailored for other crops and also find applications in the direct-feed microbial and probiotic industries.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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