NEW YORK --- A growing number of seed and biotechnology companies are working to engineer crops to make ethanol production more efficient, according to a report in the New York Times. For example, Syngenta has plans to begin selling a genetically engineered corn in 2008 that's designed to help convert itself into ethanol. Individual kernals contain an enzyme that must otherwise be added separately during the ethanol production process. DuPont and Buge recently announced that their joint venture to improve soybeans for food would also start designing beans for biodiesel fuel. Moreover, Ceres, a plant genetics company in California, is working on converting switch grass into an energy crop. Development of new energy crops could mean new applications of genetic engineering.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials