1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objectives of this cooperative research project are to enhance our knowledge regarding grass development including, development in response to biotic and abiotic stress through the use of genetic and genomic tools in sorghum and other cereal grasses.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
In order to identify candidate genes, sample materials will be collected from different sorghum tissues and treatments and used for the generation and sequencing of expression libraries; and QPCR analysis.
Research focused on extending the previous years work to improve interpretation of the relationship between gene expression and genome methylation status using sorghum as a model. In the last year, analyses and interpretation of transcript and epigenetic profiling in the reference genome sorghum BTx623, continued. The data was used to support approaches that would leverage integration of expression, methylation and conservation of sequence, to characterize functional sequence in sorghum. This method was then applied to support structural and functional annotations of genes. The work supported the development of the improved and novel structural annotations for the sorghum community. The improved annotations will support biomarker development and candidate genes identification for genes associated with yield and response to environment, such as drought. The work also contributed to the preparation and submission of a manuscript. A second activity during the past year was to begin characterization of the sorghum genes involved in secondary cell wall biosynthesis in high biomass energy sorghum. This work included development of a hydroponic system to support sorghum growth in a controlled environment.