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Title: Setaria viridis as a Model System to Advance Millet Genetics and Genomics

Millet is a common name for a group of polyphyletic, small-seeded cereal crops that include pearl, finger and foxtail millet. Millet species are an important source of calories for many societies, often in developing countries. Compared to major cereal crops such as rice and maize, millets are generally better adapted to dry and hot environments. Yet despite their food security value, the genetic architecture of agronomically important traits in millets, including both morphological traits and climate resilience remains poorly studied. These complex traits have been challenging to dissect in large part because of the lack of sufficient genetic tools and resources. In this article, we review the phylogenetic relationship among various millet species and discuss the value of a genetic model system for millet research. We propose that a broader adoption of green foxtail (Setaria viridis) as a model system for millets could greatly accelerate the pace of gene discovery in the millets, and summarize available and emerging resources in S. viridis and its domesticated relative S. italica. These resources have value in forward genetics, reverse genetics and high throughput phenotyping. We describe methods and strategies to best utilize these resources to facilitate the genetic dissection of complex traits. Wemore » envision that coupling cutting-edge technologies and the use of S. viridis for gene discovery will accelerate genetic research in millets in general. This will enable strategies and provide opportunities to increase productivity, especially in the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Africa where millets are staple food crops.« less
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  1. Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, MO (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
sc0008769; 1546882; 2014-67012-22269
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Plant Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 1664-462X
Frontiers Research Foundation
Research Org:
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, MO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23). Biological Systems Science Division; National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Setaria viridis; foxtail millet; bulked segregant analysis; stress tolerance; high-throughput phenotyping; model grass; C4 photosynthesis
OSTI Identifier: