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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Wheat, Sorghum and Forage Research » Research » Research Project #436174

Research Project: Improving Forage and Bioenergy Plants and Production Systems for the Central U.S.

Location: Wheat, Sorghum and Forage Research

2019 Annual Report

1. Specific genes control adaptation in switchgrass. Understanding how specific genes interact with the environment is critical to breeding improved crops for agricultural production. A research team including ARS scientists in Lincoln, Nebraska, mapped genes for four switchgrass populations across 10 sites ranging from Texas to South Dakota. We demonstrated that most genes that control locally adaptive traits are beneficial in some environments but have little or no detectable cost in other parts of the geographic range of switchgrass. Consequently, genes that contribute to local adaptation vary in the degree to which they are costly in alternative environments but typically result in greater benefits than costs. As a result, locally advantageous alleles could be combined to breed new high-yielding locally adapted switchgrass varieties.

Review Publications
Fielder, J.D., Lanzatella, C., Edme, S.J., Palmer, N.A., Sarath, G., Mitchell, R., Tobias, C.M. 2018. Genomic prediction accuracy for switchgrass traits related to bioenergy within differentiated populations. Biomed Central (BMC) Plant Biology. 18:142.
Varsani, S., Zhou, S., Koch, K.G., Williams, W.P., Heng-Moss, T., Sarath, G., Luthe, D., Jander, G., Louis, J. 2019. 12-Oxo-phytodienoic acid acts as a regulator of maize defense against corn leaf aphid. Plant Physiology. 179:1402-1415.
Guptar, A.K., Scully, E.D., Palmer, N.A., Geib, S.M., Sarath, G., Hein, G.L., Tatineni, S. 2019. Wheat streak mosaic virus alters the transcriptome of its vector, wheat curl mite (Aceria tosichella Keifer), to enhance mite development and population expansion. Journal of General Virology. 100(5):889-910.