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Title: Genome Sequencing and Analysis of the Model grass Brachypodium distachyon

item Harmon, Frank
item ROWE, SCOTT - University Of California
item SCHNABLE, JAMES - University Of California

Submitted to: Nature
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/9/2009
Publication Date: 2/11/2010
Citation: Harmon, F.G., Rowe, S.C., Schnable, J. 2010. Genome Sequencing and Analysis of the Model grass Brachypodium distachyon. Nature. 463(7282)763-8.

Interpretive Summary: This paper describes the sequencing and analysis of the genome from the wild grass Brachypodium distachyon, a new model plant for work in grasses. Since the majority of plant species under consideration as biofuel feedstocks are grasses, the complete genome sequence of Brachypodium provides a powerful tool to accelerate development of these new energy crops. Cereals are also grasses and the rise of Brachypodium as a model system provides additional experimental avenues for improvement of these major food sources.

Technical Abstract: Three subfamilies of grasses, the Ehrhartoideae (rice), the Panicoideae (maize, sorghum, sugar cane and millet), and the Pooideae (wheat, barley and cool season forage grasses) provide the bulk of human nutrition and are poised to become major sources of renewable energy. Here we describe the genome sequence of the wild grass Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium), the first member of the economically important Pooideae subfamily to be sequenced. Comparison of the Brachypodium, rice and sorghum genomes reveals a precise history of genome evolution across a broad diversity of the grasses and establishes a template for analysis of the large genomes of economically important pooid grasses such as wheat. The high quality Brachypodium genome sequence, coupled with its ease of cultivation and transformation, small size and rapid life-cycle will help Brachypodium reach its potential as an important model system for developing new energy and food crops.