Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 9, 2004
Publication Date: May 22, 2004
Citation: Vogel, J.P., Leong, O.M. 2004. Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of the model grass Brachypodium distachyon (abstract). 2004. In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology. 40:29A. Technical Abstract: Brachypodium distachyon is a small annual grass that shows promise as a model organism for studying questions unique to temperate grasses. The power of the model system approach in plants is best embodied by the dicot Arabidopsis thaliana. Unfortunately, Arabidopsis is not suited to study questions where the biology of grasses and dicots diverge (e.g. cell wall composition). While rice, with its sequenced genome and large research community, would appear to be a strong candidate, its utility as a model for temperate grasses is limited because it is a specialized semi-aquatic tropical plant, grows to a large size and is difficult to grow in temperate areas of the world. In contrast, Brachypodium has many of the attributes that contribute to the success of Arabidopsis as a model system. Like Arabidopsis, Brachypodium plants are small, self fertile and have simple growth requirements. The Brachypodium genome is approximately the same size as the Arabidopsis genome. Brachypodium also has large seeds suitable for studies on grain filling and quality. Brachypodium is susceptible to important cereal pathogens like Magnaporthe grisea and Fusarium graminearum, the causal agents of rice blast and head blight of wheat, respectively. Like wheat, the ploidy of Brachypodium accessions varies. Access to diploid, tetraploid and hexaploid accessions may prove useful in answering questions about genome structure that would be particularly useful to researchers working on polyploid crops like wheat and switchgrass. To further develop Brachypodium as a model system, we are developing a high-efficiency Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system. Preliminary results will be presented.