Sunflower DNA Map: Fuel from Sunflower-Silverleaf hybrid

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We all know how important DNA is to us, it is the building blocks of life, and so it comes as no surprise that it will one day be used for food and fuel for us. A research program costing $10.5 million will map the DNA from Silverleaf Sunflowers and make them power our future hybrid vehicles.

The idea is to crossbreed a standard sunflower with the Silverleaf variety from Texas. The result is a new type of sunflower that has bright yellow flowers and nice tasting seeds and much thicker stalks. The sugars contained in the stalk can be converted into ethanol.

The great thing about the Silverleaf is that it is drought-resistant, thanks to its tall woody stalks. The flower is known to grow to at least 15 feet tall and has a diameter of 4-inches. The aim is to have this breeding program up and running within four years.

Once scientists understand the plants genes then they will be able to develop the hybrid flowers. It is certainly great to know that our cars of the future will run on something very natural, just hope that Greenpeace do not try and defend plants next.

For more details on this visit ABC News.

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