mcdb20lec15su09

mcdb20lec15su09 - Lecture 15 Microbes are important to us...

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Lecture 15 Microbes are important to us Plants are important to us Domestication of plants (and animals) Major uses of plants Fuel Fiber Food Flavors, Fragrances, Farmaceuticals Plant GMOs Food preservation Microbes are important Microbes are important Microbes are important Energy/Environment Biogeochemical cycles, Weather Agriculture Food Spoilage, Preservation Human health Pathogens, Probiotics Biotechnology Kill all microbes :: everything else is gone in days Plants are crititcal for human civilization: Fuel Fiber (paper, textiles) Food Farmaceuticals Flavors, Fragrances, Fun Plant primary producers: Store energy from photosynthesis in cell walls (cellulose and lignin) Biofuels overview Cellulose Fermentation
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Biofuels from wood waste and “energy crops” (sugar cane, switchgrass) Fuel crops compete with Food crops for land area, water resources, etc. Cellulose glucose pyruvate Algal “fuel cells” In addition to storing Energy, ligno-cellulosic cell walls of xylem and a strong, lightweight material Xylem cell walls can be processed into pulp and paper Paper made possible “portable” written language (lightweight, unlike cave walls and clay tablets)
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In “herbaceous” plants, lignocellulose xylem cell walls are still strong and flexible fibers Used for shoes, textiles hemp first cultivated ~3000 BC years ago in China until 1820’s >80% of all textiles were made from War of 1812 fought over hemp Cotton produces pure cellulose in 2° cell wall of the “fiber cell” Cellulose without lignin also makes very strong fibers Cotton gin made cotton competitive with hemp ca. 1820 Hunter-Gatherers domesticated Animals (dogs) then domesticate Plants and become Agrarians plant cultivation started ~10,000 BC in the “Fertile Crescent” Towns and villages started around cultivated crops With stored food, commerce started 6500 BC oldest buildings in Turkey 5000 BC Euphrates valley full of villages 4000 BC Irrigation systems (Tigris-Euphrates, Nile) and the rest is history!
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Farming is energy intensive, and labor intensive Organic Agriculture saves ENERGY Agricultural Output vs. Hunger Agriculture increases the carrying capacity for humans on Earth ~ 1/2 is animal production ~ 1/3 of agriculture is crop plant production Agricultural Economics Most crop production is not for human consumption Food Plants provide: Carbohydrates Lipids Proteins Vitamins Minerals Phytochemicals and
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Edible Plant Parts Flowers Leaves Stems (tubers) Roots Fruits Seeds (packed with storage reserves) Grains are largest crop Crop Acreage Crop Production Wheat was developed in the Fertile Crescent by breeding wild grasses Modern wheat is hexaploid
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Corn was also developed as a hybrid between wild grasses in the New World Plants also used for Farmaceuticals
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