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Willow could be a promising bioenergy crop

The commercialization of shrub willow as a bioenergy crop could be years closer, thanks to a $1.37 million grant that will allow Cornell researchers to take advantage of the newly mapped shrub willow genome to study hybrid vigor and yield.

Larry Smart, associate professor of horticulture, has partnered with Christopher D. Town, professor at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in Rockville, Md., to study the genetics of superior growth in hybrids of shrub willow, a fast-growing, perennial cool-climate woody plant.

“Determining the precise genetic mechanisms that produce hybrid vigor has been a scientific challenge for a century,” said Smart.

View the original article here: Willow a promising bioenergy crop – Western Farm Press

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