Contact: Simon Levey
Imperial College London
Caption: Willow trees cultivated for green energy can yield up to five times more biofuel if they grow diagonally, compared with those that are allowed to grow naturally up towards the sky. This effect had been observed in the wild and in plantations around the UK, but scientists were previously unable to explain why some willows produced more biofuel than others. Now researchers at Imperial College London have identified a genetic trait that causes this effect and is activated in some trees when they sense they are at an angle, such as where they are blown sideways in windy conditions.
Credit: Imperial College London
Usage Restrictions: With the story: http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_18-1-2013-11-15-44
Related news release: Wind in the willows boosts biofuel production