Henrik Vibe Scheller

Vice President for Feedstocks and Director of Cell Wall Biosynthesis

Research Focus

The primary research goal of the JBEI Feedstocks Division is to generate basic knowledge of plant cell wall biosynthesis to facilitate the engineering of a new generation of robust and high-yielding feedstocks that are sugar enriched, less recalcitrant to deconstruction and generate fewer inhibitors for fermentation.


Feedstocks Division

  • Characterization and discovery of key components controlling matrix polysaccharide biosynthesis in rice and Arabidopsis
  • Manipulation of lignin and hemicellulose biosynthesis and composition to reduce recalcitrance, eliminate inhibitors of fermentation, and increase the content of the most desirable fuel precursors.
  • Development of tools to transfer biomass traits between different species and to stack biomass traits.

Cell Wall Biosynthesis Research Group

  • Structure and function of glycosyltransferases, nucleotide sugar transporters and regulatory proteins involved in biosynthesis of hemicellulose, pectin and other glycans.
  • Engineering of plants with modified polysaccharide composition and increased content of easily fermentable sugars.
  • The impact of cell wall composition on interactions between plants and microbes and on plant stress tolerance.

Featured Media

How Sweet It Is: New Tool for Characterizing Plant Sugar Transporters Developed at Joint BioEnergy Institute

Berit Ebert, Carsten Rautengarten and Henrik Scheller

Swords to Plowshares:Engineering Plants for More Biofuel Sugars

On the right is an Arabidopsis plant engineered to reduce the xylan content while preserving the structural integrity of its cell walls. It compares favorably to wild type plant on the far left. In the middle is a xylan-deficient mutant.

Making Do with More: Joint BioEnergy  Institute Researchers Engineer Plant Cell Walls to Boost Sugar Yields for Biofuels

JBEI’s Henrik Scheller (left) and Dominque Loque, shown here with Arabidopsis plants, are engineering plant cell walls to make the sugars within more accessible. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab)

Boosting Galactan Sugars Could Boost Biofuel Production

JBEI researchers generated Arabidopsis plants that overexpressed a GT92 enzyme, resulting in a a 50-percent increase in the amount of in the plant cell walls.

Featured Publications

Featured Intellectual Property