October 18, 2013

Scientists Identify Key Genes for Increasing Oil Content in Plant Leaves

Accumulating oil in leaves could significantly increase energy content of biofuels and plant-based foods

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified the key genes required for oil production and accumulation in plant leaves and other vegetative plant tissues. Enhancing expression of these genes resulted in vastly increased oil content in leaves, the most abundant sources of plant biomass—a finding that could have important implications for increasing the energy content of plant-based foods and renewable biofuel feedstocks. The research is described in two new publications in The Plant Journal and Plant Cell.