Embodiments of the present invention relate generally to new bioenergy crops and methods of creating new bioenergy crops. For example, genes encoding microRNAs (miRNAs) are used to create transgenic crops. In some embodiments, over-expression of miRNA is used to produce transgenic perennials, such as trees, with altered lignin content or composition. In some embodiments, the transgenic perennials are Populus spp. In some embodiments, the miRNA is a member of the miR156 family. In some embodiments, the gene is Zea mays Cg1.
STATEMENT AS TO U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS IN INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under contract number DE-FG02-06ER64301 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention described herein.