Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Environmental Health Sciences

First Advisor

Lee A. Newman

Abstract

The ability to produce biomass for biofuel on a large scale is one way in which the United States will be able to become more energy independent. With controversy surrounding the use of corn for bioethanol, more novel methods for biofuel production must be found. Historically, crude oil prices have been relatively inexpensive but unstable leading the United States to becoming ever increasingly dependent on foreign oil sources. In order to decrease these acts, the United States should and can begin to produce its own sources of fuel on land that is already available.

To be able to produce biomass for biofuel on the scales needed, fast growing, non-edible woody-plants should be considered. Here, we report on the inoculation of a woody-plant species Poplar (Populus deltoides x nigra OP367) with 7 different endophytic bacterial strains. When inoculated with Enterobacter sp. 638, poplar has significant growth over the control poplars while inoculation with Stenotrophomonas maltophila R551-3, Serratia protemaculans 568, Methylobacterium populi Bj001, Burkholderia cepacia Bu72, Pseudomonas putida W619, and Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 either had no effect on growth or inhibitory growth. This finding could be the firststep in being able to increase growth of biomass feedstocks by natural means.

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