One way to increase biofuel production is to engineer plants that can withstand harsh environmental conditions, thereby expanding the range in which such crops can be grown. Plants that can tolerate drought, for example, may be grown in the 600 million hectares of land that is no longer used for agricultural production because it is semi-arid and prone to drought, while plants resistant to flooding could be harvested in the water-logged, low-lying areas called swales. Engineering energy crops to survive and thrive in such conditions would eliminate competition for land with food crops, while also providing insights for making food crops similarly robust.

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