When scientists reported in 2014 that they had successfully engineered a poplar plant “designed for deconstruction,” the finding made international news. The highly degradable poplar, the first of its kind, could substantially reduce the energy use and cost of converting biomass to a number of products, including biofuels, pulp, and paper.
Now, more than two years later, some of those same researchers are reporting a surprising new revelation. As University of Wisconsin–Madison professor of biochemistry John Ralph puts it, “Nature was already doing what we thought we’d laboriously taught her to do.”
To read more about this research, see the news release at the link below.