Friday, October 25, 2013

Researchers in Spain say genetically modified tobacco could be used to produce biofuels

Researchers in Spain believe genetically modified tobacco plants could be used as raw material for producing biofuels, Salon reports. Ruth Sanz-Barrio, an agricultural engineer at the Public University of Navarre, said tobacco proteins called thioredoxins are biotechnological tools that can be used to make plants better producers of biofuels. Sanz-Barrio said she has increased the amount of starch produced in the tobacco leaves by 700 percent and fermentable sugars by 500 percent.

“With these sugars, according to the theoretical calculation provided by the National Centre for Renewable Energies, one could obtain up to 40 litres of bioethanol per tonnes of fresh leaves.”Sanz-Barrio told reporters. “We believe these genetically modified plants could be a good alternative for producing biofuels.” Tobacco is among the plants that is easiest to modify genetically. (Read more)

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