St. Louis, MO (December 7, 2022) – Principal Investigator Ivan Baxter, PhD, member, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, will lead a five-year, $16 million multi-institutional project to deepen the understanding of water use efficiency (WUE) in sorghum, a versatile bioenergy crop. The project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Biosystems Design to Enable Safe Production of Next-Generation Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biomaterials program, will focus on an integrated engineering approach that leverages plant physiology, genetics, genomics, genome engineering, synthetic biology and modeling.

Water is a major limitation for crop production. The movement of water from the soil through the stems and leaves and out into the air moves nutrients up the plant. Crop irrigation consumes 80% of global freshwater use. “To be economically viable and have environmental benefits, crops used for bioenergy production need to be grown where the supply of water is insufficient or too inconsistent to support production of traditional food crops,” said Baxter.  READ MORE