Mr Nganea Nangammbi
Secondary cell wall ultrastructure and its associated modifications contributes to biomass recalcitrance, which is the resistance of wood to industrial bioprocessing. To mitigate the limitations associated with biomass recalcitrance, current biorefinery methods largely rely on pre-treatments and post-processing steps to improve woody biomass yield. Nevertheless, these additional steps incur additional charges while significantly compromising biomass yield. Fortunately, recent advancements in genetic engineering have presented novel avenues such as CRISPR, which have the potential to ensure efficient wood bioprocessing. By taking advantage of CRISPR, my project involves genetically manipulating novel secondary cell wall-associated genes to generate plants with easier-to-deconstruct secondary cell walls, thus eliminating the need and associated cost of additional bioprocessing steps, while maintaining high wood biomass yields.