Identifying beneficial cell wall traits in natural populations
Plant cell walls are a major resource which can be used for biofuels or for a material use.
Whilst the last few years have seen major advances in our understanding of how the plant cell walls are constructed and plant cell walls can be decomposed, we are still far away from tailoring plants to our needs. We therefore investigate the cell wall composition of naturally occurring plant species or variants (e.g. wild relatives) to identify potentially beneficial traits that could be introduced into modern breeding varieties.
Specifically we focus on the use of residual material such as plant parts that would end up as straw and thus don’t compete with food or feed usage.