POLYPLOID GENOMICS OF PERENNIAL WARM-SEASON GRASSES FOR THE SOUTHERN UNITED STATES
Location: Crop Germplasm Research
Project Number: 6202-21000-033-01
Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 01, 2010
End Date: Aug 31, 2014
The objective of this cooperative research project is to develop and utilize informative DNA markers for the characterization of polyploid genomics (structural and functional) relevant to improvement of target warm-season grass species for bioenergy, forage, and turf.
Expressed-sequence-tag-simple-sequence-repeats (EST-SSRs) will be developed from DNA sequences and screened to identify informative markers for wild accessions and breeding germplasm of species within the genera Panicum, Pennisetum, Paspalum, Sorghum, and others. For taxa in which little genomic data exists, EST-SSRs will be used to estimate genetic diversity and genome complexity. For those taxa in which hybrid populations exist, suitable EST-SSRs will be used to initiate genetic mapping studies for traits of interest. For taxa in which informative EST-SSRs align to available comparative genomic resources, candidate genes for valuable traits (perenniality, apomixis, etc.) will be investigated for expression, function, and divergence. Results from this research will provide better understanding of evolutionary relationships, marker-trait associations, hybridization limits, and gene function towards breeding improved cultivars, preserving germplasm resources, and enhancing sustainability within agriculture systems.