A little-known fungus tucked away in the gut of Asian longhorned beetles helps the insect munch through the hardest of woods according to a team of entomologists and biochemists. Researchers say the discovery could lead to more efficient ways of breaking down plant biomass for generating biofuels.

"Getting rid of the lignin barrier and making the cellulose more accessible is the most expensive and environmentally unfriendly part of making ethanol from biomass." -- Scott Geib, Doctoral Student in Entomology, Penn State University