Energy Center

Cliff F. Weil

Contact Information

2-349 Lilly Hall of Life Sciences
Department of Agronomy
College of Agriculture
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Biography

I have several areas of interest in bioenergy. The use of genetics and genomics as it applies to improving bioenergy feedstocks is the primary area. My lab operates the Maize TILLING Project, which is a reverse genetics resource for finding mutants with single base changes in bioenergy related genes. We are applying these technologies to maize, but also to soybean, to switchgrass and to sorghum. A second area is the current use of corn starch as the current, dominant feedstock in the U.S.; we have developed lines that make starch that is digested in less than 1/10 the time of current varieties, which should decrease the cost of production. We also use genetics to define interacting gene networks associated with biomass quantity and quality, as well as sugar accumulation, particularly varieties that hyperaccumulate sucrose to levels similar to sugarcane. Using the natural, genetic diversity of maize inbreds, we use sugar accumulation mutants of maize (as a model system) and identify interacting genetic modifiers to understand the network of genes controlling how grasses respond to hyperaccumulating sucrose. With the Purdue Ionomics Facility, we are investigating the ionomic responses to hyperaccumulating sucrose over the course of plant development.

Education

Degrees:

B.S., Genetics, University of California-Davis, 1978 
Ph.D., Genetics and Development, Cornell University, 1984

 

Links of Interest

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