Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Switchgrass Genome May Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Date:
May 14, 2009
Source:
Crop Science Society of America
Summary:
A recently published study examined the impact of very cheap sequence data (approximately $1 per genome) on improvement of switchgrass, a perennial grass well suited to biomass production.

With the costs of genome sequencing rapidly decreasing, and with the infrastructure now developed for almost anyone with access to a computer to cheaply store, access, and analyze sequence information, emphasis is increasingly being placed on ways to apply genome data to real world problems, including reducing dependency on fossil fuel. For the efficient production of bioenergy, this may be accomplished through development of improved feedstocks.

A recently published study examined the impact of very cheap sequence data (approximately 1USD per genome) on improvement of switchgrass, a perennial grass well suited to biomass production.

Acquiring the genetic component of natural variation is or will soon become cheap enough that it will soon be able to be incorporated through marker-assisted selection into almost all breeding programs. With availability of cheap sequencing capacity, neither complete sequence assembly nor gene annotation is required to apply these techniques.

In a species such as switchgrass there exists a great deal of phenotypic variation derived from latitudinal adaptation across its natural range and local adaptation to soil, temperature, and moisture conditions. It is still largely undomesticated and thus large gains might be realized through fixation of beneficial alleles in breeding populations. There are likely to be a few genes with large effects that will dramatically impact yields once incorporated into breeding programs. This has occurred during the domestication of all our grain crops, but it may take just a fraction of the time now.

The development of a dollar genome sequence could provide information highways that would cut across several disciplines and drive the development of next generation biomass feedstocks, bioproducts, and processes for replacing fossil fuels. New feedstocks could produce sustainable high yields with minimal inputs in regions where competition with food is minimized, as well as provide ancillary environmental benefits associated with carbon sequestration and environmental remediation.

Another result of inexpensive sequencing would be an increased use of comparative genomics. A comprehensive survey of genetic diversity would help guide conservation efforts to preserve germplasm diversity and allow reconstruction of past speciation events at a more detailed level.

As a result of access to multiple related genomes, similarities between closely related species would allow inference of missing data. For example, if a draft switchgrass genome assembly does not provide a complete assembly as judged by comparison to an inbred genome or more closely related grass, it will be possible to infer unresolved regions, including retrotransposon family composition and composition of other abundant repetitive elements. Comparative approaches would be applied to better understand the molecular basis for differences between species that result in higher or lower yields in different environments.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Crop Science Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tobias et al. A Genome May Reduce Your Carbon Footprint. The Plant Genome, 2009; 2 (1): 5 DOI: 10.3835/plantgenome2009.02.0004let

Cite This Page:

Crop Science Society of America. "Switchgrass Genome May Reduce Your Carbon Footprint." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090512134651.htm>.
Crop Science Society of America. (2009, May 14). Switchgrass Genome May Reduce Your Carbon Footprint. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090512134651.htm
Crop Science Society of America. "Switchgrass Genome May Reduce Your Carbon Footprint." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090512134651.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins