- Number 363 |
- May 21, 2012
Sequence of switchgrass' closer kin now available
Researchers interested in the perennial grass switchgrass, considered a prospective biofuels feedstock by the DOE, have found the genome challenging to assemble because it has multiple copies of its chromosomes. The DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), in an international partnership that includes the BioEnergy Science Center and the Joint BioEnergy Institute, two of the three DOE Bioenergy Research Centers, has sequenced plant genomes of related candidate bioenergy crops such as sorghum and the model grass Brachypodium. Though both plants have been used as references for switchgrass, they last shared a common ancestor with switchgrass more than 20 million years ago. The genome of a much closer switchgrass relative—foxtail millet (Setaria italica)—is described in the May 13, 2012 edition of Nature Biotechnology. More details are available in the release at http://1.usa.gov/Sitalica.
[David Gilbert, 925.296.5643,