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Genomic Science Program

2007 Awardee

Creation of a Linkage Map for Marker-Trait Association in Switchgrass

INVESTIGATORS: C.M. Tobias, 1 M.C. Saha, 2 J.H.Bouton, 2 R. Wu 3

INSTITUTIONS: 1 Western Regional Research Center, USDA-ARS; 2 SamuelRoberts Noble Foundation; 3 University of Florida, Gainesville

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Switchgrass is a cross-pollinated warm-seasonperennial grass with potential for high biomass production, but verylittle information about genome structure and organization is availablefor this species. By creating a genetic map that is integrated withthose of other grasses, more informed breeding strategies will facilitateour ability to manipulate traits such as dry matter yield, stress tolerance,plant architechture, flowering, and biomass quality. The goal of thisproposal is to develop a linkage map in high yielding tetraploid switchgrasslines using mapping populations that have been developed, and to evaluatethese populations for several traits that we believe will be importantfor yield improvement over existing cultivars.

OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this proposal are: 1. To Develop a comprehensivemolecular marker system for switchgrass; 2. To Develop a saturatedlinkage map of switchgrass; 3. To analyse many traits segregating inthe mapping populations and identify associated markers.

APPROACH: Objective 1: This project will analyze switchgrass gene sequencedata for regions known to be highly polymorphic called microsatellitesand identify those that segregate in our populations. Objective 2:several mapping populations will be screened with markers developedin objective 1 and segregation data will be combined with data fromother funded proposals to develop a comprehensive linkage map. Objective3: The mapping population will be evaluated in three different environmentsin replicated trials for diverse morphological and reproductive characteristicsassociated with biomass production. Additional population(s) will bedeveloped if needed and genotyped with selected markers. Primary focuswill be on biomass yield. However, traits associated with biomass production(plant height, tiller number, leaf angle, photosynthetic rate, senescenceetc.) will also be assessed. Important reproductive traits (time offlowering, inflorescence size and compactness, number of floweringstocks etc.) will be measured.

Name: C.M. Tobias
Phone: 510-559-6172
Fax: 510-559-5818




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