Green Gold: How Microbes Will Impact Biofuel Production
Biological methods provide a promising approach to producing fuels from renewable sources. In this approach, microbes will play a central role in the robust synthesis of fuel from plants and algae. In particular, algae are an attractive candidate for mass-scale fuel production because they can grow rapidly on non-arable land. A more complete understanding of microbial interactions will lead to higher yields and lower cost, for example by reducing the susceptibility of algae crops to invasion by unwanted microbes or algae strains. Building better models of individual species, and of the interactions of more stable multi-species assemblages will therefore be crucial in the development of more cost effective and productive energy crops.