Edition 25, 2013
Biotechnology Increases Sugarcane Yields

Sweet Energy

  • Callus formation on sugarcane leaf roles under sterile tissue culture conditions representing the first step of genetic modification of sugarcane.
  • Expert cuts: Bayer CropScience scientists Dr. Michael Bäuerlein (left) and Dr. Ralf Christian Schmidt take samples from sugarcane plants in the greenhouse. Their experiments in the Bayer CropScience Innovation Center in Ghent ultimately give them a detailed insight into the properties and characteristics of the newly created transgenic plants containing the high-sugar gene.
zoom
Callus formation on sugarcane leaf roles under sterile tissue culture conditions representing the first step of genetic modification of sugarcane.

Brazil is the leading producer of biofuel made from sugarcane. Bioethanol production is a major factor in the development of the South American economy and is set for further growth. However, decision-makers want to avoid using more cropland to grow sugarcane. Researchers at Bayer CropScience have developed a technology that increases the sugar yield of the individual plants, which in turn also increases their energy yield. In collaboration with leading Brazilian sugarcane specialists, the Bayer experts now want to use the technology on commercial varieties. These could soon be available on the market in Brazil and propel biofuel to even greater success. In this way, sufficient cropland remains available for food production.

Read on here to see how the innovative technology works: