The Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) was established in 2007 to research the production of advanced biofuels from ligno-cellulosic material as part of the Bioenergy Research Center program by the Office of Science at the Department of Energy.
To accelerate both the manipulation and our understanding of ligno-cellulosic material, JBEI sought to create a collection of all glycosyltransferases (GTs) from the reference plants Arabidopsis (dicot) and rice (monocot). Plants contain large families of glycosyltransferases, the majority of which have no known function. Glycosyltransferases catalyze the transfer of sugar moieties within the plant cell and multiple GT gene families are directly responsible for the production of ligno-cellulosic material. This material or biomass will provide the feedstock for the development of advanced biofuels.