Plant Genetics & Breeding

Plants UW-Madison professor of biochemistry John Ralph studies the chemical composition of lignin, a hard-to-breakdown compound in the plant cell wall. Ralph's lab has developed a technology called Zip-Lignin (above), that makes plants more digestible and easier to convert into biofuels and bioproducts.

In an effort to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, UW–Madison researchers, including those working at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, are focused on creating a competitive and environmentally sustainable biofuel economy. These researchers are using plant genetics and breeding to create bioenergy crops with unparalleled capabilities, including high-energy yield, ease of conversion to fuels, and increased agricultural sustainability.