Planten gebruiken zonlicht en water om CO2 uit de atmosfeer op te vangen om te kunnen groeien. Deze planten kunnen dan omgezet worden in producten die tegenwoordig gemaakt worden van fossiele grondstoffen zoals aardolie. Terwijl het gebruik van fossiele grondstoffen leidt tot een netto toename van CO2 in de atmosfeer (bijvoorbeeld bij verbranding als brandstof), is dit niet het geval bij het gebruik van planten. Daarom zijn planten een hernieuwbare, koolstofneutrale grondstof.

Planten spelen een belangrijke rol in de strijd tegen de klimaatsverandering.

Lignine-onderzoek is zeer relevant voor een aantal toepassingen. Een eerste voorbeeld is de productie van papier. Om van hout papier te kunnen maken, moet de lignine eruit worden gehaald door houtspaanders te koken in chemische oplossingen bij hoge temperaturen. Hout afkomstig van bomen die minder lignine produceren, kan met minder chemicaliën en energie in papier worden omgezet, wat gunstig is voor het milieu.

Een ander voorbeeld is de omzetting van plantaardig materiaal in een reeks producten die tegenwoordig vooral gemaakt worden van aardolie, zoals brandstoffen, kunststoffen, detergenten, enz. Hiervoor moet de cellulose in het plantaardig materiaal eerst door enzymen afgebroken worden tot eenvoudige suikers die vervolgens door micro-organismen worden omgezet tot deze producten. Ook voor deze toepassing moet de lignine uit de planten worden gehaald. Dus wanneer het plantenmateriaal minder lignine bevat zal de omzetting efficiënter zijn.

Een derde aandachtsgebied is de verbetering van de verteerbaarheid van voedergewassen door herkauwers. Voedergewassen die minder lignine bevatten worden gemakkelijker verteerd, waardoor er meer vlees en melk per oppervlakte kan worden geproduceerd. De productie van vlees heeft een grote impact op het milieu. Het is daarom nog veel beter om onze vleesconsumptie te verminderen zodat meer land gereserveerd kan worden voor andere doeleinden zoals bebossing en herbebossing.

Een vierde voorbeeld is de productie van aromatische moleculen uit lignine zelf. Lignine kan worden omgezet in eenvoudige moleculen die kunnen worden gebruikt als bouwstenen voor de chemische industrie. Ook in dit geval is het gebruik van plantaardig materiaal een hernieuwbaar alternatief voor het gebruik van fossiele grondstoffen.

Belangrijk is dat de planten die als grondstof voor de bioraffinage worden gebruikt, op een duurzame manier worden gekweekt, waarbij bossen en velden de biodiversiteit en het welzijn van bewoners en bezoekers ondersteunen. Hoewel plantaardig materiaal in hoofdzaak hernieuwbaar is, heeft de productie van producten op basis van plantaardig materiaal een ecologische voetafdruk en wordt deze beperkt door de groeisnelheid van de planten. Daarom mogen ook producten die afgeleid zijn van planten niet worden verspild.

Samengevat is het doel van de groep “Bio-energie en Bio-aromaten” om de overgang van een op fossiel-gebaseerde naar een bio-gebaseerde economie te vergemakkelijken.

Geinteresseerd in de details? Dit zijn de domeinen waar het onderzoek van de groep aan bijdraagt.

Voetnoten bij de figuur:

1Studie van lignine in mais zoals bijvoorbeeld in Eloy et al. (2017, Plant Physiology) en Lan et al. (2016, Plant Physiology) en in gerst zoals in Daly et al. (2018, Plant Biotechnology Journal).

2Studie van lignine in vlas zoals bijvoorbeeld in Chantreau et al. (2014, Plant Cell) en Huis et al. (2012, Plant Physiology).

3Studie van lignine in populier zoals bijvoorbeeld in Vanholme et al. (2013, New Phytologist), Niculaes et al. (2014, Plant Cell), Lu et al. (2010, Plant Physiology), Dillen et al. (2009, Tree Genetics & Genomes), Marron et al. (2010, Tree Genetics & Genomes), de Lyra Soriano Saleme et al. (2017, Plant Physiology) en van Acker et al. (2017, Plant Physiology), in spar zoals in Laitinen et al (2017, Plant Physiology) en in den zoals in Wagner et al. (2013, Plant Molecular Biology) en Barakate et al. (2011, Plant Cell).

4Studie van lignine in suikerriet zoals bijvoorbeeld in Bottcher et al. (2013, Plant Physiology) en Cesarino et al. (2013, Journal of Experimental Botany).

5Fundamentele studie van lignine in zandraket (Arabidopsis thaliana) als modelsysteem, zoals bijvoorbeeld in Sundin et al. (2014, Plant Physiology), Oyarce et al. (2019, Nature Plants), de Vries et al. (2018, Biotechnology for Biofuels), De Meester et al. (2018, Plant Physiology), Vanholme et al. (2010, Plant journal), Van Acker et al. (2013, Biotechnology for biofuels), Corneillie et al. (2019, Plant Physiology), Vanholme et al, (2013, Science), De Meester et al. (2018, Plant Physiology), Steenackers et al. (2017, Plant Physiology), Tsuji et al. (2015, Plant Biotechnology Journal), Vanholme et al. (2012, Plant Cell). Over duurzame biotech-bomen kan je meer lezen in Custers et al. (2016, Trends in Plant Science), Harfouche et al. (2012, Trends in Plant Science), Walter et al. (2010, Nature Biotechnology) en Strauss et al. (2009, Nature Biotechnology).

6Studie van de invloed van lignine-engineering op pyrolyse zoals in Toraman et al. (2018, Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis en 2016, Bioresource Technology) en Vercruysse et al. (2016, Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis).

7Studie van plantextracten zoals bijvoorbeeld in Dima et al. (2015, Plant Cell).

8Studie van verschillende chemische behandelingen zoals in Gómez et al. (2014, BioEnergy Research).

9Studie van de invloed van lignine-engineering op het lignine-eerst verwerkingsproces zoals in Van den Bosch et al., (2015, Energy & Environmental Science).

10Studie van de invloed van lignine-engineering op het versuikeringsproces in onder andere Sundin et al. (2014, Plant Physiology), Oyarce et al. (2019, Nature Plants), de Vries et al. (2018, Biotechnology for Biofuels), De Meester et al. (2018, Plant Physiology), de Lyra Soriano Saleme et al. (2017, Plant Physiology), Vargas et al. (2016, Biotechnology for Biofuels) en Tsuji et al. (2015, Plant Biotechnology Journal

11Studie van de invloed van lignine-engineering op bioethanol productie zoals in Littlewood (2014, Biotechnology for Biofuels) en Van Acker et al. (2014, PNAS).

12Studie van de invloed van lignine-engineering op de materiaaleigenschappen van het hout zoals in Özparpucu et al. (2017, Plant Journal).

13Over de koolstof-negatieve, duurzame biogebaseerde economie kan je meer lezen in Vanholme et al. (2013, Frontiers in Plant Biotechnology).

The research conducted in the Bio-Energy and Bio-Aromatics group contributes on several levels to the development of the bio-based economy.

Footnotes figure:

1Study of lignin in maize as in Eloy et al. (2017, Plant Physiology) and Lan et al. (2016, Plant Physiology) and in barley as in Daly et al. (2018, Plant Biotechnology Journal)

2Study of lignin in flax as in Chantreau et al. (2014, Plant Cell) and Huis et al. (2012, Plant Physiology)

3Study of lignin in popular as in Vanholme et al. (2013, New Phytologist), Niculaes et al. (2014, Plant Cell), Lu et al. (2010, Plant Physiology), Dillen et al. (2009, Tree Genetics & Genomes), Marron et al. (2010, Tree Genetics & Genomes), de Lyra Soriano Saleme et al. (2017, Plant Physiology) and van Acker et al. (2017, Plant Physiology), in spruce zoals in Laitinen et al (2017, Plant Physiology) and in pine as in Wagner et al. (2013, Plant Molecular Biology) and Barakate et al. (2011, Plant Cell)

4Study of lignin in sugar cane as in Bottcher et al. (2013, Plant Physiology) and Cesarino et al. (2013, Journal of Experimental Botany)

5Fundamental study of lignin in Arabidopsis thaliana as model system, as in Sundin et al. (2014, Plant Physiology), Oyarce et al. (2019, Nature Plants), de Vries et al. (2018, Biotechnology for Biofuels), De Meester et al. (2018, Plant Physiology), Vanholme et al. (2010, Plant journal), Van Acker et al. (2013, Biotechnology for biofuels), Corneillie et al. (2019, Plant Physiology), Vanholme et al, (2013, Science), De Meester et al. (2018, Plant Physiology), Steenackers et al. (2017, Plant Physiology), Tsuji et al. (2015, Plant Biotechnology Journal) and Vanholme et al. ( 2012, Plant Cell). More information about sustainable biotech-trees in Custers et al. (2016, Trends in Plant Science), Harfouche et al. (2012, Trends in Plant Science), Walter et al. (2010, Nature Biotechnology) and Strauss et al. (2009, Nature Biotechnology)

6Study of the influence of lignin-engineering on pyrolysis as in Toraman et al. (2018, Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis and 2016, Bioresource Technology) and Vercruysse et al. (2016, Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis)

7Study of plant extracts as in Dima et al. (2015, Plant Cell)

8Study of different chemical treatments as in Gómez et al. (2014, BioEnergy Research)

9Study of the influence of lignin-engineering on the lignin-first process as in Van den Bosch et al., (2015, Energy & Environmental Science)

10Study of the influence of lignin-engineering on saccharification as in Sundin et al. (2014, Plant Physiology), Oyarce et al. (2019, Nature Plants), de Vries et al. (2018, Biotechnology for Biofuels), De Meester et al. (2018, Plant Physiology), de Lyra Soriano Saleme et al. (2017, Plant Physiology), Vargas et al. (2016, Biotechnology for Biofuels) and Tsuji et al. (2015, Plant Biotechnology Journal)

11Study of the influence of lignin-engineering on bioethanol production as in Littlewood (2014, Biotechnology for Biofuels) and Van Acker et al. (2014, PNAS)

12Study of the influence of lignin-engineering on wood properties as in Özparpucu et al. (2017, Plant Journal)

13About the carbon-negative sustainable bio-based economy: in Vanholme et al. (2013, Frontiers in Plant Biotechnology)

 

Wout Boerjan

Wout Boerjan

Wout Boerjan graduated in 1985 as Licentiate in Sciences, group Zoology, specialty Biotechnology at Ghent University, Belgium. In 1993, he obtained his PhD in Plant Biotechnology at Ghent University. In 1993, he became group leader of the Tree Biotechnology Group in the Department of Plant Genetics. Since 2003, he is a Professor at the Ghent University and group leader at the VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology and Bioinformatics, where he leads the Bio-energy Group. He is member of the International Academy of Wood Science, associate editor of ‘Bioenergy Research’, advisory board member of several international projects and regular organizer of international congresses. In 2009, he has been named “Forest Biotechnologists of the Year”.

 

Bartel Vanholme

Bartel Vanholme

Bartel Vanholme graduated in Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering of Ghent University, Belgium, in 1999. He started a PhD entitled "Functional characterization of proteins secreted by the plant parasitic nematode Heterodera schachtii" under the supervision of Godelieve Gheysen, in the Laboratory of Molecular Biotechnology at the same university. He obtained his PhD degree in 2004 and continued his research, mainly focusing on plant cell wall degrading enzymes secreted by parasitic nematodes. In 2008 he joined the Bio-Energy group of Prof. Boerjan at PSB and started collaborating with Bayer CropScience on the modification of cellulose fibers of cotton. Currently he holds a Tenure Track position within the framework of the MRP Ghent BioEconomy for which he is leading projects on the production of tailor-made cell walls by degrading polysaccharides during plant growth and development.

Kris Morreel

Kris Morreel

Staff scientist

Ruben Vanholme

Ruben Vanholme

Postdoctoral fellow

Ruben Vanholme graduated in 2004 as Master of Chemistry at Ghent University in Belgium. He made a master's dissertation in the Ghent Quantum Chemistry group, under supervision of promoter Patrick Bultinck. In 2005, he switched to the plant biotechnology field and obtained an IWT grant to start his PhD in the lab of Wout Boerjan. His research included the study of systems-wide consequences of lignin perturbation in Arabidopsis. For this, transcriptome and metabolome approaches were used. After obtaining his PhD degree in Biotechnology, he started as a post-doc to further investigate the lignin pathway. He is currently an FWO post-doc fellow. His major interests are metabolomics, pathway discovery, lignin pathway engineering, ecological footprint reduction by energy savings and vegetarianism.

René Höfer

René Höfer

Postdoctoral fellow

In 2005, René Höfer received his diploma in Biology from the University of Bonn in Germany. He performed his PhD in the Lab of Prof. Lucas Schreiber at the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology (IZMB) in Bonn, working on suberin development and the meaning of cytochrome P450 enzymes for the suberin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis. After receiving his PhD in 2009, he joined the Lab of Dr. Danièle Werck at the Institute for Molecular Plant Biology (IBMP-CNRS) in Strasbourg. Embedded in the SmartCell-project (funded by the 7th Framework Program of the European Union) he functionally characterized cytochrome P450’s involved in monoterpenoid metabolism and performed metabolic engineering on early steps of the (seco)iridoid pathway. In 2013, René joined the Bio-energy group at the PSB and received an OMICS@VIB fellowship (co-financed by the European Commission Marie Curie FP7 People Cofund) to identify genes encoding enzymes in aromatic metabolism using omics technologies.

Wannes Voorend

Wannes Voorend

Postdoctoral fellow

Wannes Voorend graduated as Master in Applied Sciences with specialization in biochemistry and biotechnology at Hogeschool Gent in 2009. He then started his PhD with an IWT grant, joining the expertise of two research institutes: VIB department of Plant Systems Biology, in the lab of Prof. Dirk Inzé, and the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), in the Growth and Development group of the Plant Science Unit, supervised by Dr. Hilde Muylle. During his PhD, he worked on improvement of biomass yield and biomass composition in Brachypodium and maize for the purpose of improving bioenergy crops for the production of bioethanol. Already during his PhD, he worked in close collaboration with the Bio-energy group of Wout Boerjan within SUNLIBB (7th Framework Program of the European Union). After obtaining his PhD in 2014, he continued the work on improvement of maize as bioenergy crop for the production of bioethanol as a postdoc in the Bio-energy lab.

Fernando CAMPOS DE ASSIS FONSECA

Fernando CAMPOS DE ASSIS FONSECA

Postdoctoral fellow

Fernando Campos graduated in Biology in 2004 at the University of Brasília in Brazil. In 2005, he started his Master in Molecular Biology at the same university focusing on studying the evolution of retrotransposable elements in the genome of peanut (Arachis hypogaea). In 2009, he started his PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Brasília under the supervision of Fátima Grossi-de-Sá, focusing his research on developing biotechnological alternatives to control the sugarcane giant borer (Telchin licus licus). In 2013, he received his PhD degree and continued working on sugarcane transformation with the aim to unravel the molecular mechanism behind insect pest resistance. In 2014, he started a Postdoc at EMBRAPA working on the construction of insect RNA-Seq databases for target gene screening. In 2015, he joined the Bio-energy group mainly researching the incorporation of alternative monomers in the lignin polymer to improve the production of biofuels.

Oana Dima

Oana Dima

Postdoctoral fellow

Nubia Eloy

Nubia Eloy

Postdoctoral fellow

Livia VARGAS DOS SANTOS FERREIRA

Livia VARGAS DOS SANTOS FERREIRA

Postdoctoral fellow

Rebecca Van Acker

Rebecca Van Acker

Postdoctoral fellow

Rebecca Van Acker graduated in 2005 as Bachelor in Chemistry at Ghent University. In her master studies she changed the focus from chemistry to biotechnology and received her Master's degree in Biotechnology in 2007, also at Ghent University. She joined the Bio-energy group of Prof. Dr. Wout Boerjan during her master's dissertation in search for the genetic factors that determined the fermentability of plant material into bio-ethanol. During her PhD, in the same group, she continued her research and proposed a theoretical model for an ideal cell wall composition for saccharification and bio-ethanol purposes. In addition, field trials with lignin-deficient poplars were evaluated for bio-ethanol production. In 2013, she received the Doctoral Degree in Science: Biotechnology and is still active as a postdoctoral fellow in the Bio-energy group working on poplar field trials for biofuel applications.


Dorien Van de Wouwer

Dorien Van de Wouwer

Predoctoral fellow

Dorien Van de Wouwer graduated in 2009 as Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the University of Antwerp. Afterward she specialized in Plant Biotechnology and first joined the Bio-energy group during her master dissertation on inhibitors of the lignification pathway. She graduated in 2011 as Master of Science in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Ghent University. Afterward she stayed in the Bio-energy group for her PhD. She got an IWT PhD grant to study the effects of cell wall degrading enzyme expression in planta.

Barbara De Meester

Barbara De Meester

Predoctoral fellow

Barbara De Meester graduated as Master of Biochemistry and Biotechnology with a focus on Plant Biotechnology at Ghent University in 2013. During her master thesis at the Bio-energy group, she was involved in a project focusing on severely reducing the lignin amount in plants without impacting their development. At this moment, she is a PhD student in the Bio-energy group funded by IWT. During her PhD she will study the incorporation of alternative monolignols in the lignin polymer, as well as continue her thesis research on lignin reduction.

Paula Oyarce

Paula Oyarce

Predoctoral fellow

Paula Oyarce graduated in 2010 as Bioengineer with a specialization in Natural Resources at the University of Concepción in Chile. During her thesis she was working on the development of molecular markers for genotyping Eucalyptus and Pinus spp. populations. In 2011 she got a "Becas Chile" grant to perform her PhD at the Bio-energy group. In 2012 she started her PhD, with a main research focus on the incorporation of alternative monolignols in lignin to improve the production of biofuels.

Lisa Sundin

Lisa Sundin

Predoctoral fellow

Lisa Sundin graduated at Umeå University, Sweden in 2010 as Master of Science with focus on Plant Biotechnology. Her interest for plants began at an early age, while trying to figure out which flowers that could grow in the garden up in the cold north. In 2010 she moved to Belgium to do her master thesis in the Bio-Energy group. At the moment she is doing her PhD, funded by the IWT, working on the characterization of new genes involved in lignification. Her favorite things include cloning, microscopy and looking after her Arabidopsis plants in the greenhouse.

Sander Corneillie

Sander Corneillie

Predoctoral fellow

Sander Corneillie graduated in 2013 as Master of Science in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Ghent University majoring in Plant Biotechnology. He first joined the Bio-energy group for his master dissertation on expression of cell wall degrading enzymes to modify the plant cell wall. In 2014, he started a PhD where he mainly continues the research done during his master dissertation.

Ward Steenackers

Ward Steenackers

Predoctoral fellow

Ward Steenackers studied Bioscience Engineering (Major: plant production and Minor: tropical natural resources management) at the Catholic University of Leuven and graduated in 2009. His master thesis was named ‘Genetic control of tree architecture in apple’ and was based on a comparative QTL-analysis of tree architecture parameters of an apple population grown in Belgium and Ethiopia. After that, he joined the Bio-Energy group of Wout Boerjan, got his IWT PhD grant and nowadays studies the secondary effects of different chemical inhibitors of the lignin pathway on the growth and development of normal and lignin-downregulated plants.

Lisanne de Vries

Lisanne de Vries

Predoctoral fellow

Lisanne de Vries graduated in 2014 as Master of Science in biochemistry and biotechnology with a focus on plant biotechnology at Ghent University. She joined the bio-energy group in 2014 for her master dissertation. After her dissertation, Lisanne remained in the bio-energy group as a PhD candidate. She now conducts research on the incorporation of alternative lignin monomers in the lignin polymer.

Sandrien Desmet

Sandrien Desmet

Predoctoral fellow

Sandrien Desmet graduated as Master of Science in Biochemical Engineering Technology at Ghent University in 2014. During her master dissertation, she worked on the toxicological screening of whole blood on UPLC-PDA. She then joined the Bio-energy group of Wout Boerjan for her PhD on plant metabolomics. During her PhD, which is funded by IWT, she will study the aromatic metabolism of poplar.

Lennart HOENGENAERT

Lennart HOENGENAERT

Predoctoral fellow

Lennart Hoengenaert graduated in 2015 as Master of Science in Biochemistry and Biotechnology with a focus on plant biotechnology at Ghent University. After finishing his master dissertation during an Erasmus exchange program in Umeå, Sweden, he joined the Bio-energy group as a PhD candidate. Lennart’s research, funded by an IWT grant, focuses on the incorporation of alternative monomers in the lignin polymer of poplar to improve the production of biofuels and bio-based materials.

Jin Li

Jin Li

Predoctoral fellow

Jin Li graduated as Master of Crops Genetics and Breeding with a focus on Plant Molecular Biology at Sichuan Agricultural University in China. In 2015, he started his PhD which was funded by CSC in the bio-energy group. His research focus is on using the CSPP method to develop new enzymes involved in the lignin pathway in plants.

Xinyu Liu

Xinyu Liu

Predoctoral fellow

Xinyu Liu graduated in 2008 as Master of Molecular Plant Breeding in Agriculture and Biology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. During her master thesis, she was involved in exploring the function of three anthocyanin-related genes in eggplant. In 2015, she got the grant from China Scholarship Council and the extra co-funding from Ghent University to perform her PhD at the Bio-energy group. At this moment, her research is focusing on identifying novel biosynthetic genes involved in the phenylpropanoid and monolignol biosynthetic pathway.

Andreas PALLIDIS

Andreas PALLIDIS

Predoctoral fellow

Andreas Pallidis graduated in 2013 as Plant Biotechnologist (MSc) from Wageningen University and Research Center, The Netherlands. During his MSc thesis in the Plant Physiology laboratory, he studied plant metabolomics for human health. The focus of his work was on metabolomic analysis of plants producing medicinal compounds (Artemisia annua) and metabolic engineering of lettuce. Part of his work was continued in the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam, Germany. In 2014, he started his PhD in the Bio-energy group, working on metabolomics analysis of the phenylpropanoid pathway in maize and Arabidopsis.

Marina SALEME DE LYRA SORIANO

Marina SALEME DE LYRA SORIANO

Predoctoral fellow

Keletso Carol Seetso

Keletso Carol Seetso

Predoctoral fellow

Keletso Carol Seetso graduated as Bachelor of Science from the faculty of Biotechnology (Major: Food Biotechnology) in 2012 from Assumption University,Thailand. In her Master studies, she changed her focus to Plant Biotechnology and received her Master's degree in 2015 from Ghent University. During her Master thesis in the Bio-energy group, her research was focused on identifying and characterizing genes in the phenylpropanoid pathway. After her dissertation, Keletso remained in Dr. Boerjan's lab as a PhD candidate.


Geert Goeminne

Geert Goeminne

Mass Spectrometry Expert

Geert Goeminne graduated in 1998 as a Bachelor in Biotechnology, specialization Biochemistry at the Hogeschool Gent (CTL) and started working as a technician at the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), in the group of Crop Protection supervised by Dr. Martine Maes. In 2000, he joined the group of Prof. Wout Boerjan under the supervision of Prof. Eric Messens at the University of Ghent, and specialized in Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry. Meanwhile, he continued his studies in selfstudy to obtain the degree of Engineer (Ing.) in Biology and Medical Laboratory Research at the Avans Hogeschool in Etten-Leur (The Netherlands) and graduated in 2004. The next year, he continued his studies to obtain his Master’s degree in Chemistry, option Biochemistry at the Denayer Institute in Mechelen and graduated in 2005. Since then, he has continued specializing in High Resolution Mass Spectrometry, and is currently a Mass Spectrometry Expert in the Bio-energy Group of Prof. Wout Boerjan, where he is mainly involved in Plant Metabolomics.





Halbay Turumtay, Bart Ivens, Jose Nicomedes Junior, Joaquin Medina, Igor Cesarino.

woboeThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bio-energy

+ 32 (0)9 33 13 881

Read more ...