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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Purdue Awarded $6.5 Million for Research to Develop Superior Sorghum

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Purdue University $6.5 million to support research targeting the development of better strains of sorghum to be grown as biofuel feedstock. This award is one of six being granted from the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

A team of researchers from Purdue’s college of Agriculture and Engineering and its Polytechnic Institute will be collaborating with a scientist from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization and IBM Research, the world’s largest industrial research organization.

The funding will benefit the team through the addition of a fiber optic cable data connection from the field to the campus, a new Purdue Phenomobile, Purdue’s Automated Field Phenotyping and Seed Processing Laboratory at the Agronomy Center for Research and Education, and the Laboratory for Agriculture Sensing and Analytics Research at Discovery Park.

Using these assets, the research team is developing an automated, high-throughput system of both air and ground-based phenotype sensors to achieve highly precise measurements of plant characteristics, including growth, water tolerance, and development. The resulting data will be used for gene identification and breeding plants specifically suited for the production of biofuel.

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