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Biology professor hosts workshop at world’s largest agri-genomics meeting

Dr. Aruna Kilaru

JOHNSON CITY (Jan. 29, 2015) – Dr. Aruna Kilaru, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at ETSU, was invited to organize and host a two-hour workshop, "Bioenergy – Towards Increasing Oil in Nonseed Biomass," at the International Plant and Animal Genome XXIII Conference in San Diego in January (http://www.intlpag.org/2015/).

According to Kilaru, demand for bioenergy, obtained from biomass production, is expected to double in the next 15 years. Several scientific groups across the world are working toward meeting this energy demand by increasing oil content in bioenergy crops.

Kilaru invited speakers from Stanford University, Michigan State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Arcadia Biosciences, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation to review the progress made in improving the energy value of biomass crops.

Kilaru also led a seminar, "Comparative Transcriptomics Identifies Key Steps in Storage Oil Biosynthesis," during the workshop.

More than 40 scientists convened at the workshop to consider how biomass crops such as perennial grasses could be genetically engineered to produce liquid fuels.

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