The 2022 In Vitro Biology Meeting featured an oral presentation competition for Plant Biotechnology Post-Doctoral Associates. Presenters were evaluated on experimental design, data analysis, proper interpretation of the results, originality of the study, technical difficulty, and presentation skills. Our expert panel of judges consisted of Pal Maliga, Rutgers University, Carlos M. Hernandez-Garcia, CTC Gemonics, and Terrence Frett, Sun World Innovations. The judges recognized Viet Dang Cao (University of Florida, USA) with the 1st place award for his presentation on Field Evaluation of Metabolically Engineered Energycane for Hyperaccumulation of Triacylglycerol. Dr. Cao was presented with a certificate and a cash award. We encourage all Plant Biotechnology Post-Doctoral Candidates to consider this as an opportunity to develop their presentation skills at future meetings.
Submitted by The SIVB Business Office
Field Evaluation of Metabolically Engineered Energycane for Hyperaccumulation of Triacylglycerol
Metabolic engineering to achieve hyper-accumulation of lipids in the vegetative tissues of high biomass crops is a promising strategy to improve lipid yields for biofuel production. Energycane is an ideal feedstock for this approach due to its superior biomass production and persistence. In this study, our objective is the evaluation of metabolically engineered energycane plants for the accumulation of triacylglycerol (TAG,) total fatty acid (TFA) and biomass under field conditions. A multigene expression construct for lipogenic factors and selectable marker gene was generated by modular Golden Gate assembly. Following biolistic gene transfer and selection of antibiotic resistant callus, transgenic plantlets were regenerated. The presence and expression of transgenes in the regenerated plants were confirmed by PCR and qRT-PCR analysis, respectively. Transgenic plants were vegetatively propagated in the greenhouse and were transplanted to a field site at the University of Florida Plant Science and Education Center near Citra, Florida state in randomized and replicated plots under USDA-APHIS permit in March 2021. The TAG and TFA contents for different leaf positions, stem sections, root, and juice from crushed cane were determined at the end of the growing season by a combination of TLC and GC/MS analysis. Biomass fresh and dry weight were also determined. The results indicated that TAG and TFA hyperaccumulated in all analyzed tissues under field conditions and differences in their accumulation in different tissues will be presented. The findings from this study will be useful in developing a high biomass feedstock for production of lipids.
Viet Dang Cao, DOE Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation and University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology, 58:S22 2022