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The development and evaluation of Multipurpose crops as new biorefining feedstocks for the production of industrial BioProducts and biomass (MultiBioPro)
Start date: Oct 1, 2012, End date: Sep 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The overall strategic objective of MultiBioPro is to exploit natural resources from genetic varieties of two industry-utilized plant species, poplar and the tobacco tree Nicotiana glauca, for direct applicability to novel industrial end products. The consortium will explore already existing poplar and N. glauca genotypes in parallel with innovative state-of-the-art translational research from the model organism Arabidopsis to genetically engineer metabolic pathways to advance qualities of wood fibers, and long-chain fatty acids. The modulation of fiber and long-chain fatty acid quality in both poplar and N. glauca will be examined through a multidisciplinary analytical platform that will optimize for key industrial values. An extensive cross-talk between the analytical platforms, biorefining and field trials will provide the basis for industrial determination of N. glauca and poplar varieties as new multi-purpose feedstocks. Importantly, residual biomass, e.g. suberin in poplar bark, that normally is considered waste products will also be analysed for its potential to yield long-chain fatty acids with important characteristics for new bio-materials and for biorefinery purposes. Both poplar and N. glauca may readily be grown in areas that are sub-optimal for food crop-species, and field-trials within the MultiBioPro project will further evaluate the environmental sustainability of the obtained poplar and N. glauca genotypes. Attributes that are advancing biorefinery and bio-material properties will be further exploited for marketing, demonstrating the industry-driven nature of the MultiBioPro consortium. Dissemination and training events will constitute an integral part of the project, and will include training modules in using different analytical platforms, industry-lead product-developing courses, management training and communication through the development of corporate and scientific dissemination toolkits.
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