Despite its small size, duckweed is a resilient green plant that can grow well in low quality water sources. This makes it ideal for bioremediation research and applications. In addition, duckweed grows very rapidly and is thus an ideal source of biomass that does not compete with food crops and grows worldwide in many different climates.
Duckweed is a small aquatic plant found in lakes and waterways worldwide. It grows in a variety of climates from Siberia to the tropics. Because it thrives on high levels of nitrogen and phosphates and can proliferate on municipal and agricultural run-offs, it has been used for environmental monitoring by the EPA, as well as commercially for low-cost remediation of water quality worldwide, especially in developing countries. Duckweed is also an attractive source of biomass. Because it is small and has minimal vasculature, it contains very little lignin but consists mainly of easily degradable soft tissue. Additionally, its rate of biomass increase can be 2 to 5 times that of crop plants, and it lives in habitats where it does not compete with traditional food crops. Given these many desirable properties, Rutgers researchers are actively investigating duckweed as an integrated solution for both environmental remediation and biomass production for biofuels.
For more information on Duckweed, click on the "Research" tab above.
Duckweed can resemble algal pond scum from a distance (foreground in photo above), but are actually a family of very small freshwater flowering plants (close-up below).
About The Co-op
The mission of the Rutgers Duckweed Stock Cooperative is to serve as a centralized resource that will promote the growth of the duckweed research community, both within and beyond Rutgers and New Jersey.
Under the leadership of its founding Director, Dr. Eric Lam, Professor of Plant Biology and Pathology at Rutgers, the Cooperative is actively acquiring, cataloging, and maintaining living specimens of duckweed strains from across the globe and making samples from the collection available to researchers.
- To search the database of duckweed strains in the Cooperative, click on the “Inventory” tab, above.
- For further information about obtaining duckweed samples, click on the “Order” tab, above.
- For any unanswered questions and/or inquiries about donating specimens, please contact the Cooperative Manager (email@example.com).
- For any technical issues with the website itself,
contact our Web Developer, Michael David (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Scientifically, the Cooperative is also interested in investigating the large genetic diversity of duckweeds, e.g. by undertaking systematic comparison of the various strains’ metabolite contents and growth characteristics under a range of environmental conditions.
Additionally, the Cooperative collaborates closely with a second duckweed research project at Rutgers, an international effort led by the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, under the auspices of the US Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Initiative, to sequence the genome (~150 Mb) of the Greater Duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza).
The Rutgers Cooperative was established in 2009 with the acquisition of strains from the Biolex Corporation in North Carolina, in addition to those collected by Todd Michael, (then an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University), and later from Professor Klaus Appenroth at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena, Germany. As of September, 2011, the Cooperative had over 600 different strains, collected from all continents except Antarctica, and it continues to add to its collection.
The Rutgers Duckweed Stock Cooperative is now filling orders for Duckweed. The listing of available strains can be found in our Inventory.
In the past two decades, internationally coordinated research efforts on model plants have enabled great leaps in our understanding of complex plant pathways. See the abstract...