Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Sweet Sorghum - An alternative energy crop for biofuel production in semi-arid and temperate regions

The Sweet Fuel partnership comprises 10 partners from research,Academia and industry. Partners are based in Europe, India,Brazil, SOUTH AFRICA and Mexico.

SWEETFUEL aims to breed sweet sorghum varieties better adapted to temperate region and semi arid tropics, for bio-ethanol production. To attain that goal, SWEETFUEL includes a major breeding effort, split into 3 work packages according to target environment and production system:
  • WP1 addresses biomass sorghum adaptation to temperate environments,
  • WP2 addresses tropical and sub-tropical environments, with a special focus on drought adaptation,
  • WP3 addresses tropical and sub-tropical environments, with a special focus on poor soil adaptation.
Breeding support is provided by 2 other WPs:
  • WP4 which focuses on the mechanisms involved in sugar accumulation and response to abiotic stress like low temperature and drought. Coupled with molecular studies, this will allow the identification of QTLs or candidate gene sequences for MAS to be used in breeding.
  • WP5 which develops cultural and harvest practices and identifies agronomic determinants (cultural calendar, population density, water and nutrient requirements, etc.) to optimize yield and resource use. Particular attention will be paid to the optimization of harvest techniques which represents a major bottleneck of production of ethanol from sweet sorghum, due to the low storability of the harvested material. This WP will also provide a plant model to test genotypes under different management and climatic scenarios (characterization of target populations of environments, TPE) and to determine potential geographic area of cultivation. 
Agenda:Kick off meeting Sweetfuel project The kick off meeting "sweetfuel project" was held at Montpellier (France) on 16 17 & 18 March 2009.
Presentation of SWEETFUEL at EC Workshop Presentation of SWEETFUEL project at the Twinning workshop organized by European Commission in Buenos Aires - Argentina, on 7 and 8th, May 2009
Presentation of SWEETFUEL at EU India Science and Technology Cooperation Days, 4-6 November 2009, New Delhi
Next annual meeting of the General Assembly will be held at EMBRAPA Mayze and Sorghum Centre, Sete Lagoas, MG, Brazil from 19h to 23th of April - 2010

Partners:CIRAD : Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement FRANCE
ICRISAT : International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics INDIA
EMBRAPA Maize and Sorghum : Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuaria BRAZIL
IFEU : Institut fuer Energie und Umweltforschung Heidelberg GMBH GERMANY
UNIBO : Alma Mater Studiorum Universita di Bologna ITALY
UNIBO Website
UCSC : Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore ITALY
ARC-GCI : Agricultural Research Council – Grain Crop Institute SOUTH AFRICA
UANL : Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon MEXICO
WIP : WIP Renewable Energies GERMANY