The Golden Leaf

In this article by the Associated Press, researchers have turned their attention towards one of Americas long time cash crops tobacco. Scientists believe that by focusing more attention on tobacco is good because it does not affect any food sources which is a key issue in biofuel production.  By genetically modifying the tobacco leaf it can create more oil in the leaves, up to 20 percent. According to a professor from Thomas Jefferson University, “Tobacco is an attractive ”energy plant” because it can generate a large amount of oil and sugar more efficiently than other crops.” Tobacco has high productivity with huge leaves and great ability to synthesis. Also the tobacco industry is in decline and the switch to using tobacco to produce fuel could definitely raise the production amounts and hopefully boost the economy. However tobacco is a very finicky plant to grow needing a lot of nitrogen and special protection from insects.

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