Université de Strasbourg


Evolution of the plant phenolic metabolism: a search for new strategies to improve biofuel production

Fellows Fribourg-Strasbourg: Ralf Reski and Danièle Werck-Reichhart

The plant phenolic metabolism leads to the synthesis of biopolymers such as lignin, of antioxidants, UV-screens and compounds that are suspected to regulate plant growth. High lignin content and cross-linking in the cell walls of higher plants is a main limitation to the efficient use of the plant biomass for energy production. METABEVO proposes to reveal the structure and role of the phenolic metabolism in the moss Physcomitrella patens, an ancestral plant resistant to extreme environmental conditions and allowing targeted gene engineering that does not produce a complex lignin biopolymer, in order to improve biofuel production and to optimize plant adaptation to a more challenging climate environment. This work is expected to reveal essential aspects of plant evolution upon transition from water to land and to lead to novel strategies for biofuel production.

Investissements d'Avenir