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"Integrated Next Generation Sequencing Approach to Determine the Production Efficiency of Arundo donax” aims to overcome one of the main limiting factors in the production of biofuels, i.e. the recalcitrance of lignocellulosic biomass to degradation, in order to obtain a high efficiency industrial transformation product. Lignin, the main component of the cell wall, inhibits the degradation of cellulose and sugars which are necessary for the fermentation process. It is therefore crucial to study the physiology and genetics of lignin biosynthetic pathways. The research project aims to identify the genes and regulatory mechanisms involved in lignin and cellulose biosynthesis in Arundo donax, and to study the response of the plant to high salinity conditions.
The project was funded by the NOP Research and Innovation 2014-2020 within the Action Innovative Industrial Doctorates, Cycle XXXIII - Academic Year 2017-2018. For the implementation of this initiative, the University of Molise received 85.743,06 euro in funding and established a three-year doctoral scholarship in Biosciences and Territory.
The project is in line with the bioeconomy criteria concerning the promotion of the biofuel production chain, from the selection of varieties to high transformation efficiency, and is based on the environmental sustainability concepts affecting the agronomic productivity of plants. The industrial doctorate will provide a high degree of specialization by analysing and responding to the needs of the labour market, where collaboration between universities and businesses ensures an economic and sustainable growth of processes. The green chemistry sector is growing rapidly both nationally and internationally, which determines the importance of establishing knowledge bases and innovative methodologies to promote the competitiveness of young researchers and innovation in production processes. The project includes a 6-month placement at BMR Genomics, a company in Padua offering DNA analysis services, and a 6-month period at the University of Essex in Colchester, United Kingdom.
Further Information (in Italian):
Sito dell’Università del Molise – Pagina dedicata ai progetti del XXXIII ciclo