Mr Nganea Nangammbi
My project employs novel biotechnology approaches to reduce lignocellulose biomass recalcitrance, reducing the time and cost associated with industrial processing. This will aid in establishment of efficient production of clean long-term lignocellulosic biofuels, ensuring sustainable bioeconomy - which would provide solutions to climate change, sustainable development, energy and food security. Establishing such efficient industrial processing approaches requires a substantial understanding of the precise roles of secondary cell wall biosynthetic genes. Previously, I have used CRISPR/Cas9 to functionally characterise the roles of SCW associated genes, IQD9 and IQD10 in Populus, preliminary phenotype analyses have suggested that perhaps these genes are essential for plant growth at least in Populus. Similarly, my current studies combines CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR interference (CRISPR/dCas9) to identify the functional roles of novel xylan-associated genes that may be playing a significant role in Secondary cell wall development - with the aim of generating plants with reduced recalcitrance.