Advances in the use of genetically modified plant biomass for biodiesel generation

Shen Wan, Victoria M.T. Truong-Trieu, Tonya Ward, Joann K. Whalen, Illimar Altosaar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Biodiesel is a low-carbon-intensity renewable fuel with up to 99% lower greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum-based diesel. The use of oil crops for biodiesel is under critical examination. It is expensive and suffers from the food versus fuel risk/benefit problem. Consequently, many countries (e.g. Malaysia and countries in the EU) are scaling back the use of oil crops as feedstock for biofuel production. The limitations of these traditional crops are leading the renewable fuels industry to consider innovative, sustainable, and profitable biomass-based platforms. Plant genetic engineering and other new breeding technologies are essential for developing such biomass-based platforms because they enhance plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses, resulting in higher feedstock yields, greater net energy gain, and the generation of high-value co-products. We review and summarize the recent improvements of oil crops through plant genetic engineering that may increase widespread and cost-effective production of biodiesel and value-added co-products for green chemistry applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-764
Number of pages16
JournalBiofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • biodiesel
  • bioproduct gene technology
  • fatty acid (FA)
  • feedstock
  • plant genetic engineering
  • triacylglycerol (TAG)


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