Navigation Links
A new tool for improving switchgrass
Date:7/27/2010

This release is available in Spanish.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have developed a new tool for deciphering the genetics of a native prairie grass being widely studied for its potential as a biofuel. The genetic map of switchgrass, published by Christian Tobias, a molecular biologist at the ARS Western Regional Research Center in Albany, Calif., and his colleagues, is expected to speed up the search for genes that will make the perennial plant a more viable source of bioenergy.

Switchgrass is now grown as a cattle feed and to restore depleted soils. But interest in using it as a biofuel has intensified in recent years because it can be burned to produce electricity and, like corn stalks, can be converted to ethanol. It also grows on marginal lands, is adaptable to different regions, and--as a perennial--does not need to be replanted each year, which means lower energy costs and less runoff.

To assemble the genetic map, the team crossed a commercial variety of switchgrass known as Kanlow with an ARS-developed variety known as Alamo to produce 238 plants. They extracted DNA from that population and assembled a map based on more than 1,000 genetic markers that could each be attributed to one parent or the other.

The map divides the switchgrass genome into 18 distinct groups of genes linked together on the same strand of DNA. The results were recently published in the journal Genetics.

The work is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture, as part of the joint USDA-DOE Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy Program.

Understanding the genetic composition of switchgrass could produce big rewards. To make switchgrass more commercially viable as a biofuel, scientists are searching for ways to increase yields and make it easier to break down the plant cell walls, an essential step in producing ethanol from cellulosic biomass.

The genetic map could lead to genes associated with cell wall composition, crop yields and other useful traits. Scientists will be able to use the genetic map to compare the genetic profile of switchgrass to that of rice, sorghum and other plants with better understood genomes and find analogues to genes linked to specific traits in those crops.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dennis O'Brien
dennis.obrien@ars.usda.gov
301-504-1624
United States Department of Agriculture-Research, Education, and Economics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. High blood sugars impact on immune system holds clues to improving islet cell transplants
2. Greatest thing since sliced bread: New data offer important clues toward improving wheat yields
3. Improving livestock productivity in Honduras
4. Improving the odds
5. New patented technology for improving cardiac CTs receives NIH support
6. Improving the degradation of toxic hydrocarbons
7. Lengthening time a drug remains bound to a target may lead to improving diagnostics, therapy
8. Inventor honored for tech improving access to clean water, healthcare, and business development in India
9. Algae advances as a green alternative for improving water quality
10. Improving clinical use of stem cells to repair heart damage
11. Switchgrass produces biomass efficiently
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) has been ... (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 on the ... In addition, CHS previously earned a place in ... electronic medical record (EMR). "HIMSS Analytics ... EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  This recognition ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... India , March 23, 2017 The report "Gesture ... Touchless Biometric), Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... at a CAGR of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 21, 2017 Optimove , ... by retailers such as 1-800-Flowers and AdoreMe, today ... Recommendations and Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine learning algorithms, ... product and replenishment recommendations to their customers based ... predictions of customer intent drawn from a complex ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... NC (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2017 , ... ... 2017, celebrating 10 years of successes helping medical technology companies and inventors develop and ... to a renowned full-service national engineering firm with a portfolio of clients in the ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum ... Immuno-Oncology 360° (IO360°) programming through a series of upcoming panels and events. The partnership ... 2018, at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. , “With our experience in ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... ... August 14, 2017 , ... The Conference Forum has confirmed the ... place on September 6, 2017 at the Marriott Copley Place in Boston, MA. , ... Informatics, and Regulatory Strategy, Pfizer Innovative Research Lab, Pfizer, who leads 19 industry speakers ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... As a full-service marketing agency, 212 ... with the right message. Their effective, cutting-edge inbound marketing strategies are available to ... crucial the agriculture industry is,” said David Phelps, chief marketing officer at 212 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: