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Title: Final technical report for: Insertional Mutagenesis of Brachypodium distachyon DE-AI02-07ER64452

Several bioenergy grasses are poised to become a major source of energy in the United States. Despite their increasing importance, we know little about the basic biology underlying the traits that control the utility of grasses as energy crops. Better knowledge of grass biology (e.g. identification of the genes that control cell wall composition, plant architecture, cell size, cell division, reproduction, nutrient uptake, carbon flux, etc.) could be used to design rational strategies for crop improvement and shorten the time required to domesticate these species. The use of an appropriate model system is an efficient way to gain this knowledge. Brachypodium distachyon is a small annual grass with all the attributes needed to be a modern model organism including simple growth requirements, fast generation time, small stature, small genome size and self-fertility. These attributes led to the recommendation in the DOE’s “Breaking the Biological Barriers to Cellulosic Ethanol: A Joint Research Agenda” report to propose developing and using B. distachyon as a model for energy crops to accelerate their domestication. Strategic investments (e.g. genome sequencing) in B. distachyon by the DOE are now bearing fruit and B. distachyon is being used as a model grass by hundreds of laboratories worldwide.more » Sequence indexed insertional mutants are an extremely powerful tool for both forward and reverse genetics. They allow researchers to order mutants in any gene tagged in the collection by simply emailing a request. The goal of this project was to create a collection of sequence indexed insertional mutants (T-DNA lines) for the model grass Brachypodium distachyon in order to facilitate research by the scientific community. During the course of this grant we created a collection of 23,649 B. distachyon T-DNA lines and identified 26,112 unique insertion sites. The collection can be queried through the project website ( and through the Phytozome genome browser ( The collection has been heavily utilized by the research community and, as of October 23, 2015, 223 orders for 12,069 seeds packets have been filled. In addition to creating this resource, we also optimized methods for transformation and sequencing DNA flanking insertion sites.« less
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  1. DOE Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
USDA ARS Western Regional Research Center. Albany, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES Brachypodium, biomass, transformation, mutagenesis, reverse genetics, grass