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Title: Final technical report for Phenomic Analysis of Natural and Induced Variation in Brachypodium Distachyon DE-SC0001526

The goal of this project was to apply high-throughput, non-destructive phenotyping (phenomics) to collections of natural variants and induced mutants of the model grass Brachypodium distachyon and characterize a small subset of that material in detail. B. distachyon is well suited to this phenomic approach because its small size and rapid generation time allow researchers to grow many plants under carefully controlled conditions. In addition, the simple diploid genetics, high quality genome sequence and existence of numerous experimental tools available for B. distachyon allow us to rapidly identify genes affecting specific phenotypes. Our phenomic analysis revealed great diversity in biofuel-relevant traits like growth rate, biomass and photosynthetic rate. This clearly demonstrated the feasibility of applying a phenomic approach to the model grass B. distachyon. We also demonstrated the utility of B. distachyon for studying mature root system, something that is virtually impossible to do with biomass crops. We showed tremendous natural variation in root architecture that can potentially be used to design crops with superior nutrient and water harvesting capability. Finally, we demonstrated the speed with which we can link specific genes to specific phenotypes by studying two mutants in detail. Importantly, in both cases, the specific biological lessons learnedmore » were grass-specific and could not have been learned from a dicot model system. Furthermore, one of the genes affects cell wall integrity and thus may be a useful target in the context of biomass crop improvement. Ultimately, all this information can be used to accelerate the creation of improved biomass crops.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
USDA ARS Western Regional Research Center
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES biofuel, Brachypodium distachyon, phenomics, phenotype, natural diversity, mutagenesis, T-DNA