Controlling Plant Cell Division to Enhance Biofuel Production

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Produced in 2015, these post-16 resources look at how the control of cell division can lead to the production of lignified (woody) tissue. This has direct applications for producing greater quantities of energy rich biofuels. The resources are based on the work being carried out by Dr Ricardo Randall and colleagues at Cardiff University Biosciences department. Their work studies cell division and growth in the simple plant Arabidopsis. This plant acts as a model for the processes that are common to many commercial crops. Much of their time is spent manipulating DNA in the laboratory before transforming it in to the plant and studying the effects.

The video clips last for around three minutes and are a useful starting point for exploring the topic. They provide an overview of the research as seen from the perspective of the research. The scientific ideas underpinning the research are outlined. Some of the key technical terms are highlighted on screen and the ideas are expanded upon in the associated presentations. The third video clip looks at the applications of the research in a real world context – in this case, improving the production of biofuels.

There are also two short video clips which outline the career profile and job roles for a research scientist and a biotechnology technician

Curriculum links include:

*Plant hormones

*Cell division and mitosis

*Stem cells

*Biofuels, biomass and productivity


These resources were Supported and funded by National STEM Learning Centre and Network and Research Councils UK (RCUK)

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