Genomic Science Program. Click to return to home page.

Genomic Science Program

Systems Biology for Energy and the Environment

Department of Energy Office of Science. Click to visit main DOE SC site.

Genomic Science Program

DOE BER Request for Information – Responses due on or before October 31, 2021. The BER Advisory Committee (BERAC) has been charged with assessing the international standing of BER-supported research. Your input is invited and encouraged. Please respond through email to the specific questions in this Request for Information according to the instructions provided at this link: Assessing the National and International Standing of BER Basic Research.

2011 Awardee

Genomic and Breeding Foundations for Bioenergy Sorghum Hybrids

INVESTIGATORS: Kresovich, S.; Paterson, A.H.; Feltus F.A.

INSTITUTIONS: University of South Carolina; University of Georgia; Clemson University

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Our goal is to build the germplasm, breeding, genetic, and genomic foundations necessary to optimize cellulosic sorghum as a bioenergy feedstock. We define cellulosic sorghum as an annual or perennial form that is bred and selected to maximize carbon (energy) accumulation per unit time, land area, and/or production input (water, nutrients, pesticides, etc.). The ideotype will be extremely tall, heavy tillering, large-barreled, dry stemmed, photoperiod-sensitive material that aggressively regrows in environments with milder winters (southern U.S.).

OBJECTIVES: The specific objectives of the proposed research are: (1) to develop ten nested association mapping populations (NAMs) and a diversity panel necessary to dissect the genetic bases of carbon accumulation and partitioning of cellulosic sorghum; (2) to phenotype these NAMs and diversity panel for patterns of carbon accumulation and partitioning and to correlate these traits with DNA sequence variation that will underlie future breeding/genetic studies; (3) to lay the foundation for integrating genomic selection and other genomics-based strategies into cellulosic sorghum breeding programs; and (4) to identify and create cellulosic male-sterile (A lines), maintainer (B lines), and restorer (R lines) germplasm necessary to exploit heterosis specifically targeted at energy production.

APPROACH: We will test the hypothesis that parallel evolution of and selection for cellulosic sorghum in different botanical races may have involved convergent mutations or introgressions, with the result of a high level of correspondence of QTL locations in crosses involving different botanical races. This implies that the genetic control of the traits fundamental to this ideotype may be relatively simple, and quickly identified to expedite marker-based selection. We also will implement a systems biology approach toward tests of multiple hypotheses that specific molecular pathways are underlying QTLs sets by fitting de novo generated sorghum gene-gene coexpression interactions (and their predicted function) to QTLs on a trait-by-trait basis. In this way, we will identify groups of candidate genes with evidence that makes them priorities for functional validation through association genetics, reverse genetics, or transgenic approaches. Synergistically to this effort, ongoing DOE JGI community sequencing and NSF-BREAD genotyping projects will provide the fundamental information, pipeline, and associated database for us to identify the required SNPs. This project also will complement a NAM set being developed for grain sorghum, with ten additional populations that address traits of singular importance to cellulosic sorghum, using a common parent (‘Grassl’) and other lines exhibiting wide variation in genetic background, geographic origin, biomass composition, and agronomic phenotype. Lastly, products (A, B, and R lines) critical to successful breeding of cellulosic hybrids will be developed. Heterosis will impact yield and composition in manners for which we expect to provide diagnostic DNA markers, while simultaneously advancing the crop for use by the U.S. seed industry.

Name: Kresovich, S.
Phone: 803.777.3086
Fax: 803.777.6687


Genomics-Enabled Plant Biology for Determination of Gene Function Summary of Projects Awarded

Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy [01/19]

Lignocellulosic Biomass for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts: Workshop Report [2/15]

  • JBEI's Jay Keasling named Office of Science Distinguished Scientist Fellow. More »
  • DOE BER Early Career Research Funding Opportunity Preapplications due Oct. 21. More »
  • Systems Biology of Bioenergy-Relevant Microbes Projects Awarded. [7/21] More »
  • BER Bioimaging Science Program announces new awards. [7/21] More »
  • DOE BER Request for Information – Responses due by 10- 31-21. More »
  • DOE BER Awards $45.5 Million [6/21] More »
  • Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program 2021 Solicitation 1 [2/21] More »
  • BER Researcher Susannah Tringe is 2020 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award Winner More » [01/21]
  • More News and Announcements »

Publication Highlights

  • Publication Highlights »
  • Search Highlights »