Bioenergy Grass Genomics

C4 grasses are among the most productive biomass plants and are exceptional candidates for bioenergy & biorefinary feedstocks. The tribe Andropogoneae contains the domesticated crops maize, sorghum, and sugarcane, which are already being used for first generation ethanol production, and the undomesticated species Miscanthus and switchgrass which are being advanced as cellulosic ethanol crops. To develop these species into competitive energy crops, genomic and genetic tools must be employed to elucidate the structure and function of their genomes and facilitate targeted breeding. The complexity of most C4 grass genomes and the high ploidy levels in some species are significant challenges that hinder genetic analyses. Complete genome sequences are now available for sorghum and maize, and first genetic maps have been established for Miscanthus. In addition, a new C4 model crop is emerging. These data can be used to understand the more complex genomes via comparative genomics studies. Many cellulosic crops are perennial, and key traits can take several years to observe. The development of genomic tools will significantly accelerate the breeding of sustainable bioenergy crops within a meaningful timeframe.
Date: Saturday, January 9, 2016
Time: 4:00 PM-6:10 PM
Room: Pacific Salon 2
Kerrie Farrar and Kankshita Swaminathan
4:00 PM
Exploiting Sorghum Diversity for Bioenergy Traits
Patrick J. Brown, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

4:20 PM
Physiological and Molecular Analysis of Drought Stress Responses in Miscanthus: Identifying Important Traits for Biofuel Production from Analysis of Networks
Marta Malinowska, Aberystwyth University; Vera Vendramin, IGA Technology Services; Simone Scalabrin, IGA Technology Services; Sabine Schnabel, Biometris, Wageningen UR Plant Science Group; Iain Donnison, Aberystwyth University; Paul R. H. Robson, IBERS - Aberystwyth University

4:40 PM
Genetic Resources from Dactylis glomerata and Phalaris arundinacea Collected on Marginal Land Sites in Europe
Susanne Barth, Teagasc; Trevor Roland Hodkinson, Trinity College Dublin; Paul Cormican, Teagasc Animal and Bioscience Research Department; Ruby Prickett, Trinity College Dublin; Manfred Klaas, Teagasc Crops Environment and Land Use Programme

5:00 PM
Accuracy of Genomic Prediction in Switchgrass Improved by Accounting for Linkage Disequilibrium
Guillaume P. Ramstein, Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin - Madison

5:40 PM
Field Performance of Sugarcane with TALEN or RNAi Mediated Lignin Reduction
Baskaran Kannan, University of Florida - IFAS; Je Hyeong Jung, University of Florida - IFAS; Fredy Altpeter, University of Florida - IFAS

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