INVESTIGATORS: C.M. Tobias,1 M.C. Saha,2 J. H. Bouton,2 R. Wu3
INSTITUTIONS: 1Western Regional Research Center, USDA-ARS; 2Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation; 3University of Florida, Gainesville
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Switchgrass is a cross-pollinated warm-season perennial grass with potential for high biomass production, but very little information about genome structure and organization is available for this species. By creating a genetic map that is integrated with those of other grasses, more informed breeding strategies will facilitate our ability to manipulate traits such as dry matter yield, stress tolerance, plant architecture, flowering, and biomass quality. The goal of this proposal is to develop a linkage map in high yielding tetraploid switchgrass lines using mapping populations that have been developed, and to evaluate these populations for several traits that we believe will be important for yield improvement over existing cultivars.
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this proposal are: 1. To Develop a comprehensive molecular marker system for switchgrass; 2. To Develop a saturated linkage map of switchgrass; 3. To analyze many traits segregating in the mapping populations and identify associated markers.
APPROACH: Objective 1: This project will analyze switchgrass gene sequence data for regions known to be highly polymorphic called microsatellites and identify those that segregate in our populations. Objective 2: several mapping populations will be screened with markers developed in objective 1 and segregation data will be combined with data from other funded proposals to develop a comprehensive linkage map. Objective 3: The mapping population will be evaluated in three different environments in replicated trials for diverse morphological and reproductive characteristics associated with biomass production. Additional population(s) will be developed if needed and genotyped with selected markers. Primary focus will be on biomass yield. However, traits associated with biomass production (plant height, tiller number, leaf angle, photosynthetic rate, senescence etc.) will also be assessed. Important reproductive traits (time of flowering, inflorescence size and compactness, number of flowering stocks etc.) will be measured.
Name: C.M. Tobias