Submitted to: Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2005
Publication Date: 5/1/2005
Citation: Sarath, G., Vogel, K.P., Mitchell, R., Twigg, P., Tobias, C.M., Baird, L.M. 2005. Application of functional genomic tools for exploring switchgrass feedstocks improved through divergent selection. Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals Symposium Proceedings.#3A-01.
Technical Abstract: Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is an important native perennial forage and biomass crop. Success in developing elite lines of switchgrass as a future feedstock will require traditional breeding methods coupled with biotechnology. USDA-ARS scientists have generated a large assemblage of switchgrass germplasm bred for a variety of uses. These collections provide an outstanding resource for dissecting traits that impact a wide range of plant processes. We needed to develop appropriate tools in functional genomics to fully exploit these populations for future breeding of elite germplasm, and to provide insights into switchgrass biology.. To this end, we have generated cDNA libraries from different plant parts and have end sequenced over 5,000 individual cDNA clones. We have begun to identify and characterize transcripts that encode for proteins involved in cell-wall metabolism. One of our goals is to build microarrays with a limited set of genes that can be used to screen switchgrass populations. In addition, proteomic and microscopic methods are being used to document the biochemical and anatomical changes that take place during tiller development. These protocols are being used to query existing germplasm. We are also studying changes in the levels of several enzymes from select switchgrass plants utilizing protein-chip arrays. Data from these and related experiments will be discussed.