W654 Sorghum Genomics

Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Time: 10:25 AM
Room: Pacific Salon 2
Martin Calviņo , Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ
Joachim Messing , Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ
Sorghum bicolor is member of the tribe Andropogoneae, the subfamily of Panicoideae, and the family of the Poaceae, common known as the grasses. Within the grasses, an increasing number of genomes have been sequenced, whose progenitors have diverged into different subfamilies. Because of the close phylogenetic relationships, their genomes exhibit large sections of conserved gene collinearity, which can be used to align orthologous chromosomal regions. Because the sorghum genome has been sequenced at a high resolution, it serves as important reference genome for species of the Panicoideae like millets, maize, sugarcane, switchgrass, and Miscanthus, the latter all considered as important raw materials for biofuel. Whereas synteny can be used to analyze the mosaic structure of ancient chromosomal fragments and chromosomal duplications, the divergence of gene regulation and function provides an important insight into desirable traits that make different species more attractive genetic models and crops than others. Whereas sorghum has lower nutritional value, it has lower input costs than maize such as less water and fertilizer requirements. Understanding these differences at the genomic level open a plethora of new opportunities for translational genetics among important crops and their various applications.