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Research Project: Brachypodium Distachyon Germplasm Collection and Characterization


2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The objectives of the project are to 1) Assemble a collection of natural accessions and 2,000 homozygous T-DNA lines, 2) Conduct a detailed phenotypic characterization of the collection using a phenomic approach, and 3) Begin detailed characterization of a select group of mutants and natural accessions.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
We will apply a phenomic strategy to identify Brachypodium mutants and natural accessions with variation in traits (e.g. biomass, growth rate, root architecture, cell wall composition, water and nutrient use efficiency) relevant to the development of biomass crops. A key advantage of this approach over traditional single trait screens is that we will identify variation in many traits simultaneously and, due to repeated measurements over time and carefully controlled conditions, we will be able to detect relatively modest phenotypic changes. These types of incremental changes may be particularly useful in the development of biomass crops because there may be fewer unintended consequences that decrease other agronomic qualities than with single gene variation that results in large phenotypic changes. To begin the process of translating the variation observed in Brachypodium into biomass crops, we will initiate studies aimed at identifying the genes responsible for the traits in question.

3. Progress Report:
The goal of this project is to obtain and characterize additional Brachypodium germplasm. Our collaborator has collected over 1,000 Brachypodium accessions and has begun to examine genetic diversity using genetic markers. In addition, our collaborator visited the WRRC from June-September to work on the project. This project supports the parent project by providing germplasm that facilitates the study of traits relevant to biomass crops.

4. Accomplishments