Research goals

Biomass is of the critical importance to ascertain the sustainable sources of renewable energy; of the various biomass resources, bioenergy plants contribute the majority of biomass production worldwide. To facilitate China’s renewable bioenergy development, and ultimately secure the sustainable resources for bioenergy in China, the Energy Plant Group are working on the development of the start-of-art pipelines in China to lead the research of bioenergy plant biomass accumulation in three steps:

  • Establishment of the comprehensive and reliable evaluation system of biomass resources in China;
  • Genetic breeding of the bioenergy plant varieties with important agronomical traits;
  • Construction of an economical efficient technology platform for large-scale plantation of bioenergy plant varieties.

Research interests

  • Establishment of the core germplasm resources of Chinese Bioenergy Plants.
    Investigate and evaluate the natural resources and biodiversity of Miscanthus and Duckweeds from various ecological/economical systems of China to provide reliable information for further selection and domestication of the varieties with the most important agronomical traits, particularly the varieties of high-energy output and best fit for China’s marginal land plantation.
  • Genetic and molecular analysis of the core bioenergy plant genes involving in biomass accumulation.
    Identify and characterize the pivotal genes involving in abiotic stress responses to explicate the mechanisms of abiotic stress responses in Miscanthus; identify and characterize the key genes that are responsible for high photosynthetic efficiency in both Miscanthus and Duckweeds to elucidate the mechanisms of how bioenergy plants are involved in the process of capturing, fixation, conversion and storage of energy. This characterization of the key genes will reveal the network regulation of bioenergy plant biomass accumulation and unveil the clues for genetic modification of bioenergy plants.
  • Genetic modification of Miscanthus and Duckweed to generate high-energy output varieties.
    Investigate the important economical traits of Miscanthus and Duckweeds, such as abiotic stress resistance, high-energy output and high efficiency of conversion to cellulosic biofuels, to design an innovative pipeline to generate molecular genetic breeding lines of Miscanthus and Duckweed.  
  • Large-scale cultivation of low-cost and high-output bioenergy plants.
    Establish an evaluation system of the biosafety, ecological effect and economy importance of genetic modified Miscanthus and Duckweeds.