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Improving Plant Cell Walls for Use as a Renewable Industrial Feedstock

Objective

With oil reserves diminishing and the effects of industrial emissions on global climate, there is a need for renewable carbon-neutral industrial feedstocks. First generation biorefineries, producing biofuels and bioplastics by the fermentation of sugar or starch, are seeing a rapid expansion and are adding stress to food supplies. A more sustainable option is to use plant biomass from agricultural by-products, or dedicated biomass crops. Plant biomass is underutilized, abundant and composed mostly of cell wall polysaccharides. Conversion of these polysaccharides to sugars will provide cheap and abundant raw materials for industrial biotechnology. The use of plant biomass in this way is hampered by the high cost of saccharification due to the recalcitrance of cell walls to enzymatic hydrolysis. RENEWALL aims to find ways to overcome this technical bottleneck by identifying and modifying the structural features of plant cell walls that make them difficult to process. Our partnership brings together outstanding biologists, chemists, and enzymologists, as well as industrialists from the plant breeding and biotechnology sectors, from Europe and the USA who can together take an integrated multidisciplinary approach to solving this fundamental problem. Combining genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and systems approaches, we will achieve a step-change in our understanding of the biosynthesis of the major components of plant biomass, namely; lignin, cellulose and matrix polysaccharides. Using state-of-the-art and novel analytical methods we will determine the basis of the recalcitrance of plant biomass to saccharification. Combining these approaches, we will identify new genes that can be manipulated to improve the ease and yield of biomass saccharification and will generate rational approaches for improving the quality of plant biomass as an industrial feedstock

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/biofuels
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture/plant breeding
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/carbohydrates
  • /engineering and technology/industrial biotechnology/bioprocessing technologies/fermentation
  • /engineering and technology/industrial biotechnology/biomaterials/bioplastics
  • /engineering and technology/industrial biotechnology
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture/plant breeding/crops
  • /agricultural sciences/agricultural biotechnology/biomass
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins/proteomics

Call for proposal

FP7-KBBE-2007-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP-IP - Large-scale integrating project

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF YORK
Address
Heslington
YO10 5DD York North Yorkshire
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 150 425
Administrative Contact
Chris Barber (Mr.)

Participants (16)

UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 417 312
Address
Nethergate
DD1 4HN Dundee
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
James Houston (Mr.)
KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 431 819,60
Address
Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Anna Haldrup (Ms.)
KUNGLIGA TEKNISKA HOEGSKOLAN
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 554 790
Address
Brinellvagen 8
100 44 Stockholm
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Ake Eriksson (Mr.)
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE POUR L'AGRICULTURE, L'ALIMENTATION ET L'ENVIRONNEMENT
France
EU contribution
€ 916 707,60
Address
147 Rue De L'universite
75007 Paris Cedex 07
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Herman Höfte (Dr.)
UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 279 456
Address
Kings Gate
NE1 7RU Newcastle Upon Tyne
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Amanda Gregory (Dr.)
AARHUS UNIVERSITET

Participation ended

Denmark
EU contribution
€ 199 620
Address
Nordre Ringgade 1
8000 Aarhus C
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Henrik Wrem (Mr.)
UNIVERSITE PAUL SABATIER TOULOUSE III
France
EU contribution
€ 239 196
Address
Route De Narbonne 118
31062 Toulouse Cedex 9
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Deborah Goffner (Dr.)
THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARSOF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 198 397,60
Address
Trinity Lane The Old Schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Dawn Barker (Ms.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 327 424
Address
Oxford Road
M13 9PL Manchester
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Kerry Chantrey (Ms.)
SVERIGES LANTBRUKSUNIVERSITET
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 281 594
Address
Almas Alle 8
750 07 Uppsala
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Ingrid Ragnarsdotter (Ms.)
VIB VZW
Belgium
EU contribution
€ 230 059,60
Address
Rijvisschestraat 120
9052 Zwijnaarde - Gent
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Win Goemacie (Mr.)
KWS SAAT SE & CO KGAA
Germany
EU contribution
€ 21 266
Address
Grimsehlstrasse 31
37574 Einbeck
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Hinrich Harling (Dr.)
BIONIQS LIMITED

Participation ended

United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 84 730
Address
York Science Park, Biocentre
YO10 5DG York
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Adam Walker (Dr.)
SWETREE TECHNOLOGIES AB
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 213 657,60
Address
Po Box 4095
904 03 Umea
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Magnus Hertzberg (Dr.)
DLF SEEDS AS
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 197 667
Address
Ny Ostergade 9
4000 Roskilde
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Thomas Didion (Dr.)
CORNELL UNIVERSITY

Participation ended

United States
Address
Pine Tree Road 373
14850 Ithaca Ny
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Kimberly Hayes (Ms.)