Fuels derived from cellulosic biomass are increasingly becoming a priority as we focus both on reducing the large amount of greenhouse gases we introduce into the atmosphere and our dependence on unsustainably sourced fossil reserves. Liquid or solid biofuels derived from cellulosic materials, such as trees, will address these criteria while also assisting agricultural development in rural areas by promoting sustainable coppice harvesting on marginal lands not suitable for consumption crop production. The use of next-generation genomics technologies, as well as more traditional biological research methods, will help develop and enhance tree growth in no- to low-input environments. Additionally, genomic resources will contribute to understanding the process of cell wall formation in woody plants and allow researchers to optimize the composition of plant cell walls for bioenergy concerns.
In the upcoming meeting “Bioenergy Trees” – sponsored by the journal The New Phytologist in their ongoing series of symposia – will address the development of trees and other woody biomass for bioenergy purposes. This meeting will be held at INRA-Nancy, in Nancy/Champenoux, France, from May 17th to 19th, 2011. Registration is now open. In addition to this very pertinent research topic, Nancy is truly a magical place, so it’s with great excitement that I tell you about this meeting.
In addition, The New Phytologist has announced the next round of symposia for 2012 here.