Transgenic plants, plant material, and plant cells for synthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates, preferably poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (also referred to a as PHB) are provided. Preferred plants that can be genetically engineered to produce PHB include plants that do not normally produce storage products such as oils and carbohydrates, and plants that have a C.sub.4 NAD-malic enzyme photosynthetic pathway. Such plants also advantageously produce lignocellulosic biomass that can be converted into biofuels. An exemplary plant that can be genetically engineered to produce PHB and produce lignocellulosic biomass is switchgrass, Panicum virgatum L. A preferred cultivar of switchgrass is Alamo. Other suitable cultivars of switchgrass include but are not limited to Blackwell, Kanlow, Nebraska 28, Pathfinder, Cave-in-Rock, Shelter and Trailblazer.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government Support under Energy Industry of the Future Award No. DE-FC07-11D14214 and Grant No. USDA-68-3A75-3-142 awarded by the United States Department of Agriculture. The Government has certain rights in the invention.