Kenaf plants may hold the secret to reduced biomass conversion costs.
[The group determined that kenaf has an enzyme (and therefore a gene) necessary to make a modified lignin building block that may allow ÒzipsÓ to be engineered into the lignin polymer. Unzipping the lignin by simple pretreatments would significant lower pretreatment costs. (Lignin is the polymer ÒglueÓ that holds fibers together in the plant cell wall, and is therefore responsible for much of the recalcitrance to efficient processing)]