Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS), Aberystwyth University, United Kingdom
Samuel P. Hazen,
University of Massachusetts, USA
Lignocellulosic biomass derived from energy crops and agricultural residues is a promising renewable resource for the production of transportation fuels and other bio-based materials. One issue at hand is the capture of sufficient and sustainable quantities of biomass. Accordingly, several different plant species are under investigation with a particular concentration on perennial grasses and short rotation woody crops. A second bottleneck to the commercial exploitation of plant feedstocks is the recalcitrance of the cell wall to conversion into fermentable sugars. In recent years there has been significant research effort worldwide focusing on increasing our understanding of the complex plant cell walls with the aim of facilitating molecular breeding and genetic engineering of plant biomass optimized for biofuel production. In this focus issue we invite Mini-Reviews, Commentaries, Opinions, and Original Research articles describing current fundamental science and future perspectives on the development and utilization of renewable biomass feedstocks. We welcome high-quality contributions that fit within this framework.