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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING BARLEY FOR FUEL ETHANOL PRODUCTION AND REDUCING MYCOTOXINS IN BARLEY ETHANOL FEED CO-PRODUCTS

Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-Products

Project Number: 1935-41000-083-04
Project Type: Nonfunded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2010
End Date: Sep 14, 2013

Objective:
Develop new hulled and hulless barley lines having traits desirable to enhance production of fuel ethanol and add value to the animal feed coproduct, DDGS; engineer commercial ethanol yeasts to detoxify mycotoxins such as DON that are sometimes found on barley kernels in wet growing years and that would be detrimental to animals who ate the resulting ethanol coproduct, DDGS, derived from that grain and; evaluate hull removal strategies to reduce DON levels in raw barley kernels prior to fuel ethanol production as another way to reduce levels of DON in DDGS.

Approach:
Virginia Tech breeders will send new barley varieties to us for evaluation. Varieties containing high levels of starch, beta-glucan, and protein will be fermented to ethanol and the coproduct, DDGS. Varieties producing the highest ethanol yields and DDGS with highest protein will be selected as top candidates. Virginia Tech researchers will transform commercial ethanol yeasts with a 3-O-acetyltransferase (TRI101) enzyme, which catalyzes the acetylation of DON at the third carbon, reducing the toxicity of DON by two orders of magnitude. We will test the ability of these yeasts to detoxify DON during a series of small-scale ethanol fermentations using raw barley grain containing different levels of DON. We expect the enzyme to detoxify DON during simultaneous saccharification and fermentation. It is expected that the use of these transgenic yeasts during fermentation will add additional value by the production of barley DDGS with low DON levels. ERRC researchers will remove barley hulls using several different types of mills (pearling, roller milling, precision impact mill) to determine if removal of hull will result in barley kernels with lower DON levels.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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