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Title: The Genetics of Biofuel Traits in Panicum Grasses: Developing a Model System with Diploid Panicum Hallii

Abstract

Our DOE funded project focused on characterizing natural variation in C4 perennial grasses including switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and Hall’s panicgrass (Panicum hallii). The main theme of our project was to better understand traits linked with plant performance and that impact the utility of plant biomass as a biofuel feedstock. In addition, our project developed tools and resources for studying genetic variation in Panicum hallii. Our project successfully screened both Panicum virgatum and Panicum hallii diverse natural collections for a host of phenotypes, developed genetic mapping populations for both species, completed genetic mapping for biofuel related traits, and helped in the development of genomic resources of Panicum hallii. Together, these studies have improved our understanding of the role of genetic and environmental factors in impacting plant performance. This information, along with new tools, will help foster the improvement of perennial grasses for feedstock applications.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Dept. of Integrative Biology
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1337332
Report Number(s):
DOE-UT-08451
DOE Contract Number:
SC0008451
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; switchgrass; Hall's panicgrass; genetic mapping; diversity

Citation Formats

Juenger, Thomas, and Wolfrum, Ed. The Genetics of Biofuel Traits in Panicum Grasses: Developing a Model System with Diploid Panicum Hallii. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1337332.
Juenger, Thomas, & Wolfrum, Ed. The Genetics of Biofuel Traits in Panicum Grasses: Developing a Model System with Diploid Panicum Hallii. United States. doi:10.2172/1337332.
Juenger, Thomas, and Wolfrum, Ed. 2016. "The Genetics of Biofuel Traits in Panicum Grasses: Developing a Model System with Diploid Panicum Hallii". United States. doi:10.2172/1337332. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1337332.
@article{osti_1337332,
title = {The Genetics of Biofuel Traits in Panicum Grasses: Developing a Model System with Diploid Panicum Hallii},
author = {Juenger, Thomas and Wolfrum, Ed},
abstractNote = {Our DOE funded project focused on characterizing natural variation in C4 perennial grasses including switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and Hall’s panicgrass (Panicum hallii). The main theme of our project was to better understand traits linked with plant performance and that impact the utility of plant biomass as a biofuel feedstock. In addition, our project developed tools and resources for studying genetic variation in Panicum hallii. Our project successfully screened both Panicum virgatum and Panicum hallii diverse natural collections for a host of phenotypes, developed genetic mapping populations for both species, completed genetic mapping for biofuel related traits, and helped in the development of genomic resources of Panicum hallii. Together, these studies have improved our understanding of the role of genetic and environmental factors in impacting plant performance. This information, along with new tools, will help foster the improvement of perennial grasses for feedstock applications.},
doi = {10.2172/1337332},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 7
}

Technical Report:

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  • This project had six objectives, four of which have been completed: 1) Association panels of diverse populations and linkage populations for switchgrass and reed canarygrass (~1,000 clones each) were assembled and planted in two sites (Ithaca, NY and Arlington, WI); 2) Key biofeedstock characteristics were evaluated in these panels for three field seasons; 3) High density SNP markers were developed in switchgrass; and 4) Switchgrass association panels and linkage populations were genotyped. The remaining two original objectives will be met in the next year, as the analyses are completed and papers published: 5) Switchgrass population structure and germplasm diversity willmore » be evaluated; and 6) Association mapping will be established and marker based breeding values estimated in switchgrass. We also completed a study of the chromosome-number variation found in switchgrass.« less
  • The current fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure is not sustainable. Solar radiation is a plausible alternative, but realizing it as such will require significant technological advances in the ability to harvest light energy and convert it into suitable fuels. The biological system of photosynthesis can carry out these reactions, and in principle could be engineered using the tools of synthetic biology. One desirable implementation would be to rewire the reactions of a photosynthetic bacterium to direct the energy harvested from solar radiation into the synthesis of the biofuel H2. Proposed here is a series of experiments to lay the basic sciencemore » groundwork for such an attempt. The goal is to elucidate the transcriptional network of photosynthesis using a novel driver-reporter screen, evolve more robust hydrogenases for improved catalysis, and to test the ability of the photosynthetic machinery to directly produce H2 in vivo. The results of these experiments will have broad implications for the understanding of photosynthesis, enzyme function, and the engineering of biological systems for sustainable energy production. The ultimate impact could be a fundamental transformation of the world's energy economy.« less
  • Perennial grass has been proposed as a potential candidate for producing cellulosic biofuel because of its promising productivity and benefits to water quality, and because it is a non-food feedstock. While extensive research focuses on selecting and developing species and conversion technologies, the impact of grass-based biofuel production on water resources remains less clear. As feedstock growth requires water and the type of water consumed may vary considerably from region to region, water use must be characterized with spatial resolution and on a fuel production basis. This report summarizes a study that assesses the impact of biofuel production on watermore » resource use and water quality at county, state, and regional scales by developing a water footprint of biofuel produced from switchgrass and Miscanthus × giganteus via biochemical conversion.« less
  • Our multidisciplinary research team for this project involved collaboration between the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNM HSC). Our research team in Wisconsin was led by Laura Roberts, M.D., Principal Investigator, and included Scott Helberg, MLS (Project Coordinator), Kate Green Hammond, Ph.D. (Consultant), Krisy Edenharder (Research Coordinator), and Mark Talatzko (Research Assistant). Our New Mexico-based team was led by Teddy Warner, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator and UNM Site Principal Investigator, and included Suzanne Roybal (Project Assistant),more » Darlyn Mabon (Project Assistant), Kate Green Hammond, PhD (Senior Research Scientist on the UNM team from 2004 until January, 2007), and Paulette Christopher (Research Assistant). In addition, computer technical and web support for the web-based survey conducted on a secure server at the University of New Mexico was provided by Kevin Wiley and Kim Hagen of the Systems and Programming Team of the Health Sciences Center Library and Information Center. We stated 3 aims in the grant proposal: (1) To collect web survey reports of the ethical perspectives, concerns, preferences and decision-making related to genetic testing using surveys from employees at: (a) Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); (b) Sandia National Laboratories (SNL); and (c) the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC); (2) To perform an extensive literature search and the extant survey data to develop evidence-based policy recommendations for ethically sound genetic testing associated with research and occupational health activities in the workplace; and, (3) To host a conference at the Medical College of Wisconsin to provide employers, workers, health professionals, researchers, the public, and the media an opportunity to consider ethical issues involved in genetic testing in the context of the workplace.« less