U.S. farmers have long hoped to extend sugarcane’s growing range northward from the Gulf coast, substantially increasing the land available for sugar and biofuels. Research shows that when the thermometer dips, "miscanes" continue to photosynthesize.
"If successful, it could make a big dent in producing the nation’s liquid transportation fuel. The potential is huge compared to anything else that I have worked on.”
Illinois plant biology professor Stephen P. Long and his collaborators have engineered sugarcane so that it accumulates oil in its stems that can be made into biodiesel.