Submitted to: Genetics and Genomics of the Triticeae
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 25, 2008
Publication Date: July 31, 2009
Citation: Vogel, J.P., Bragg, J.N. 2009. Brachypodium distachyon, a New Model for the Grasses. p. 427-449. Genetics and Genomics of the Triticeae. Interpretive Summary: Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium) is a small annual grass with biological, physical and genomic attributes (e.g. rapid cycling, small stature, inbreeding, small genome, diploid accessions) suitable for use as a modern model system. By conducting experiments with Brachypodium, researchers can make more rapid progress in understanding the unique biological properties of the grasses than if they studied grasses that are grown as crops (e.g. wheat, switchgrass, Miscanthus) directly. This is because the grasses grown as crops are difficult to grow and manipulate experimentally in the laboratory. Knowledge learned using Brachypodium will then be used to improve grasses that are grown as crops. This book chapter describes the strides that researchers have made in creating the tools necessary to use Brachypodium as a model system.
Technical Abstract: Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium) is a small annual grass with biological, physical and genomic attributes (e.g. rapid cycling, small stature, inbreeding, small genome, diploid accessions) suitable for use as a modern model system. In pursuit of this goal, researchers have made rapid progress in developing genomic resources that will transfigure Brachypodium into a powerful model system including: facile Agrobacterium-mediated transformation methods, BAC libraries, physical maps, genetic maps, and germplasm resources. In addition, a preliminary 4x draft of the entire genome has been released, and completion of the final 8x assembly is anticipated in 2008. This chapter provides an overview of the advantages of Brachypodium as a model system and surveys the use and potential applications of this system to aid wheat, barley and Lolium research.