Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Finally, a use for rutabagas

Yes, I'm afraid I don't care for rutabagas.  My sister used to put them in her stew and in my humble opinion, altered the taste of the whole thing (ewww!)

Well, at Michigan State, researchers are turning to rutabagas as a potential source of biofuel.  They are genetically modifying the rutabaga genome by inserting a modified version of a gene (the article doesn't say from what organism) that increases the plant's ability to turn carbohydrates into lipids.

The thinking is that if the plants can be modified to store lipids in their roots (which I think are actually tubers - modified stem tissue as opposed to actual roots) they can be grown for biofuel in places like Michigan, that can use all the new agribusiness it can get.

Ha! Here's a site devoted to rutabaga enthusiasts.  I didn't know that they're in the Brassicaceae, or Mustard family.  Last month was National Rutabaga Month, by the way.


  1. I'm with you on the not liking of the rutabaga. I like the word a lot, though!!

  2. Yes! I'll have to check the site and see what the origin of the word is.


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.