Lookup NU author(s): Manish Raorane,
Professor Angharad MR Gatehouse,
Dr Ajay Kohli
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013. All rights are reserved. Ninety percent of the world's energy demands are met by non-renewable fossil fuels. The limited supply, high prices and non-sustainability of fossil fuels has led to exploring new resources for energy. Among all the available sources of renewable energy, biodiesel is viewed as one of the best alternatives, particularly for transport fuel, because it can provide a secure and economically viable source of energy. Biodiesel can be used directly or as an additive to petro-fuels as it can lessen harmful vehicle emissions which cause adverse environmental effects. Recent studies have shown non-edible oilseed crops such as Jatropha curcas to be suitable for biodiesel production. The by-products of J. curcas-based biodiesel production have numerous industrial applications. The different parts of the plant and its extracts can be used in medicinal, cosmetic, plastics and insecticide/pesticide industries. If realistic returns are expected, J. curcas can be grown on marginal and wastelands promoting effective land use and generating employment, thus strengthening local communities both socially and economically. However, neither J. curcas nor any other potentially useful non-edible oilseed plant is currently grown commercially. Genotypic characterization of the global accessions of J. curcas have shown limited genetic diversity despite appreciable variability in important phenotypic, physiological and biochemical traits. Further genetic improvement of J. curcas is desirable for improved oil quality and quantity, either through conventional breeding or molecular engineering, for a number of reasons. These include unpredictable yield patterns, varying but often low oil content, the presence of toxic and carcinogenic compounds, multiple asynchronous flowering flushes, plant height and problems associated with seed germination. Knowledge of the nuclear and chloroplast genome of J. curcas and standardization of plant transformation and gene silencing in this plant provide opportunities for rapid progress in understanding and improving the J. curcas potential as a biodiesel crop. This chapter reviews information specifically on proteins and proteome analysis based approaches to identify useful components in critical biochemical pathways or traits such as fatty acid metabolism, phorbol ester synthesis and stress tolerance. Identification of spatio-temporally specific and environmentally responsive proteins as the reactive component can compliment and fast-track other genomic and transcriptomic approaches for improving J. curcas.
Author(s): Raorane M, Popluechai S, Gatehouse AMR, Kohli A
Publication type: Book Chapter
Publication status: Published
Book Title: Jatropha, Challenges for a New Energy Crop
Print publication date: 01/05/2013
Online publication date: 26/10/2012
Publisher: Springer New York
Place Published: New York, NY, USA
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