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This article in TPG

  1. Vol. 4 No. 3, p. 273-282
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: Oct 10, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): pcronald@ucdavis.edu
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The Switchgrass Genome: Tools and Strategies

  1. Michael D. Casler,
  2. Christian M. Tobias,
  3. Shawn M. Kaeppler,
  4. C. Robin Buell,
  5. Zeng-Yu Wang,
  6. Peijian Cao,
  7. Jeremy Schmutz and
  8. Pamela Ronald 
  1. M.D. Casler, USDA-ARS, U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, 1925 Linden Dr., Madison, WI 53706-1108; C.M. Tobias, USDA-ARS, Western Regional Research Center, Albany, CA 94710; S.M. Kaeppler, Dep. of Agronomy, Univ. of Wisconsin, 1575 Linden Dr., Madison, WI 53706; C.R. Buell, Dep. of Plant Biology, Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI 48824-1312; Z. Wang, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, 2510 Sam Noble Pkwy., Ardmore, OK 73401; P. Cao, Dep. Plant Pathology, Univ. of California, Davis, and the UC-Davis Genome Center, CA, and China Tobacco Gene Research Center, Zhengzhou Tobacco Research Institute, Zhengzhou, China 450001; J. Schmutz, HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology, Huntsville, AL, and Dep. of Energy Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, CA; P. Ronald, The Joint Bioenergy Institute, Emeryville, Dep. Plant Pathology, Univ. of California-Davis, and the UC-Davis Genome Center, Davis, CA 95616


Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a perennial grass species receiving significant focus as a potential bioenergy crop. In the last 5 yr the switchgrass research community has produced a genetic linkage map, an expressed sequence tag (EST) database, a set of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers that are distributed across the 18 linkage groups, 4x sampling of the P. virgatum AP13 genome in 400-bp reads, and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries containing over 200,000 clones. These studies have revealed close collinearity of the switchgrass genome with those of sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], rice (Oryza sativa L.), and Brachypodium distachyon (L.) P. Beauv. Switchgrass researchers have also developed several microarray technologies for gene expression studies. Switchgrass genomic resources will accelerate the ability of plant breeders to enhance productivity, pest resistance, and nutritional quality. Because switchgrass is a relative newcomer to the genomics world, many secrets of the switchgrass genome have yet to be revealed. To continue to efficiently explore basic and applied topics in switchgrass, it will be critical to capture and exploit the knowledge of plant geneticists and breeders on the next logical steps in the development and utilization of genomic resources for this species. To this end, the community has established a switchgrass genomics executive committee and work group (http://switchgrassgenomics.org/ [verified 28 Oct. 2011]).

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