Shi receives $50000 from KSEF

Jian Shi, Ph.D., has received $50,000 from the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation (KSEF)'s Research and Development Excellence Program (RDE). The KSEF RDE Program is a peer-reviewed competition that focuses on innovation and technology development in existing and emerging areas of research. Dr. Shi's project summary follows.


Title: A Sweet BioAg Solution: Sweet Sorghum Bagasse Based Crop Yield Enhancer

PI: Dr. Jian Shi; Co-PI: Dr. Hongyan Zhu, University of Kentucky

Project Summary: Lipo-chitooligosaccharide (LCO) is a signal molecule produced by rhizobial bacteria that is required for inducing the formation of nitrogen-fixing root nodules in legumes. LCOs also show growth promoting effects on non-legumes. As such, the LCOs has a huge market to be used as a crop yield enhancer. In particular, the use of bio-derived LCOs has the potential to offer an environmentally friendly and sustainable solution to the synthetic agrochemicals. Currently, synthetic medium is commonly used in submerged fermentation for the production of LCOs. However, the high cost associated with the medium and downstream recovery and purification warrants the development of new bioprocesses. Kentucky leads the country in sweet sorghum production; the Commonwealth, together with its neighboring states, produces over 90 percent of the total domestic sorghum syrup output. The goal of this work is to explore the use of sweet sorghum bagasse, a renewable resource and a waste stream from syrup extraction to produce LCOs. 

For more information, read about Dr. Shi's research lab.