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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #325288

Research Project: Develop Improved Plant Genetic Resources to Enhance Pasture and Rangeland Productivity in the Semiarid Regions of the Western U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Genetic and ecological characteristics of Miscanthus in eastern Russia

Author
item CLARK, L. - University Of Illinois
item DZYUBENKO, E. - Vavilov Institute
item DZYUBENKO, N. - Vavilov Institute
item BAGMET, L. - Vavilov Institute
item SABITOV, A. - Vavilov Institute
item CHEBUKIN, P. - Vavilov Institute
item Johnson, Douglas

Submitted to: Annals Of Botany
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/24/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Miscanthus is a genus of perennial grasses native to East Asia. This genus includes the emerging ligno-cellulosic biomass crop M. xgiganteus (a hybrid between M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus). Cold tolerance is of particular interest in Miscanthus, given that this crop is more adapted to temperature climates than its relatives corn, sorghum, and sugarcane. A germplasm collection expedition was conducted in eastern Russia at the northern extreme of the native range of Miscanthus during September 2012. The expedition yielded 174 clonal accessions (160 M. sacchariflorus and 14 M. sinensis) from 47 sites. Molecular genetic procedures were used to characterize the collections. M. sinensis was found in maritime climates near Vladivostok (43.6 degrees N) and on southern Sakhalin Island (46.6 degrees N). M. sacchariflorus was found inland at latitudes as high as 49.3 degrees N., where M. sinensis was absent. High genetic diversity was observed within the Russian collections of M. sacchariflorus. These Miscanthus collections from eastern Russia will be useful for breeding programs for developing cultivars of Miscanthus and sugarcane with improved adaptation to cold temperatures.

Technical Abstract: Miscanthus is a genus of perennial C4 grasses native to East Asia, which includes the emerging ligno-cellulosic biomass crop M. xgiganteus, a hybrid between M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus. Cold tolerance is of particular interest in Miscanthus, given that this crop is more adapted to temperate climates than its C4 relatives maize, sorghum, and sugarcane. A germplasm collection expedition was conducted in eastern Russia at the northern extreme of the native range of Miscanthus during September 2012. The expedition yielded 174 clonal accessions (160 M. sacchariflorus and 14 M. sinensis) from 47 sites. Accessions were genotyped by restriction site associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) and plastid microsatellites. M. sinensis was found in maritime climates near Vladivostok (43.6 degrees N) and on southern Sakhalin Island (46.6 degrees N). M. sacchariflorus was found inland at latitudes as high as 49.3 degrees N. where M. sinenis was absent. Most accessions of M. sacchariflorus were diploid, but ~2% were tetraploid. Molecular markers revealed little population structure but high genetic diversity within the collections of Russian M. sacchariflorus. Genome-wide association analysis for traits measured at the collection sites revealed three M. sacchariflorus single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were significantly associated with number of stems per unit area, and one SNP associated with basal stem diameter. Two of these SNPs were near or within previously described sorghum QTLs for related traits, suggesting that the associations were not spurious. These Miscanthus collections from eastern Russia will be useful for breeding programs for developing cultivars of Miscanthus and sugarcane with improved adaptation to cold temperatures. We propose a novel strategy to facilitate the rapid utilization of new collections by implementing low-cost SNP genotyping using sequence-based methods to conduct genome-wide association analyses of phenotypic data obtained at collection sites. In this way, plant breeders can be provided with specific initial information concerning which accessions have desirable traits and alleles.