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Title: Deciphering Natural Allelic Variation in Switchgrass for Biomass Yield and Quality Using a Nested Association Mapping Population

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a C4 grass with high biomass yield potential and a model species for bioenergy feedstock development. Understanding the genetic basis of quantitative traits is essential to facilitate genome-enabled breeding programs. The nested association mapping (NAM) analysis combines the best features of both bi-parental and association analyses and can provide high power and high resolution in QTL detection and will ensure significant improvements in biomass yield and quality. To develop a NAM population of switchgrass, 15 highly diverse genotypes with specific characteristics were selected from a diversity panel and crossed to a recurrent parent, AP13, a genotype selected for whole genome sequencing and parent of a mapping population. Ten genotypes from each of the 15 F1 families were then chain crossed. Progenies form each family were randomly selected to develop the NAM population. The switchgrass NAM population consists of a total of 2000 genotypes from 15 families. All the progenies, founder parents, F1 parents (n=2350) were evaluated in replicated field trials at Ardmore, OK and Knoxville, TN. Phenotypic data on plant height, tillering ability, regrowth, flowering time, and biomass yield were collected. Dried biomass samples were also analyzed using prediction equations of NIRS at the Noblemore » Foundation and for lignin content, S/G ratio, and sugar release characteristics at the NREL. Genomic shotgun sequencing of 15 switchgrass NAM founder parental genomes at JGI produced 28-66 Gb high-quality sequence data. Alignment of these sequences with the reference genome, AP13 (v3.0), revealed that up to 99% of the genomic sequences mapped to the reference genome. A total of 2,149 individuals from NAM populations were sequenced by exome capture and two sets of 15 SNP matrices (one for each family) were generated. QTL associated with important traits have been identified and verified in breeding populations. The QTL detected and their associated markers can be used in molecular breeding programs to facilitate development of improved switchgrass cultivars for biofuel production.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc., Ardmore, OK (United States). Forage Improvement Division (FID)
  2. The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc., Ardmore, OK (United States)
  3. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
  4. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc., Ardmore, OK (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Contributing Orgs:
Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States); Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); USDA-ARS Dairy Forage Research Center, Madison, WI (United States); National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS Switchgrass NAM population; Exome capture; QTL