Scientists have mapped the genome of sorghum, and the discovery could open the door for even greater use of the crop in biofuel, especially ethanol, production.
This story from the USDA’s Radio Newsline says since sorghum grows in drier climates and is more resistant to disease than corn, researchers are looking at ways to transfer some of sorghum’s traits over to corn.
Rutgers University molecular scientist Joachim Messing says the discovery could allow a more efficient use of corn. “And we wouldn’t have the competition between using corn for feed and food and biofuels.”
Messing says the use of cellulose from corn stalks to make ethanol has required an extra step to turn it into ethanol. But sorghum already has a sugar that can be fermented into ethanol, making a more effective biofuel feedstock.