Southern Miss Researchers Creating ‘Designer’ Plants for Oil Production


It’s a research area in high demand. In 2011,
the last year there’s been statistics on, it was worth over a billion dollars, the market
for plant oils. Along with a worldwide market for the development of plants for oil, there
are environmental benefits as well. Just the usefulness for food, fuels, and feed stocks,
there’s this great renewable natural resource that we can take advantage of. And now Dr.
Philip Bates of The University of Southern Mississippi will be collaborating with some
of the top research universities in the world. All focused on engineering crop species plants
to produce a wide array of oil. We have the opportunity to design things for a specific
application we want through genetic engineering in plants. Of the driving forces of the research
is the large scale production of plants that can hopefully replace petroleum with bio-fuels
from plants. If we can use natural sources of oils as opposed to petroleum based it has
long reaching implications for our nation’s energy efficiency. Researchers hope to present
some of the findings at the governor’s energy summit in December. From The University of
Southern Mississippi, I’m Layla Essary.