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Reference Number BBS/E/C/00004856
Title Optimising the development of the energy grass Miscanthus through manipulation of flowering time
Status Completed
Energy Categories RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES(Bio-Energy, Production of other biomass-derived fuels (incl. Production from wastes)) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields BIOLOGICAL AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES (Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
Rothamsted Research
Award Type Standard
Funding Source BBSRC
Start Date 01 June 2007
End Date 31 May 2011
Duration 47 months
Total Grant Value £1
Industrial Sectors Power
Region East of England
Programme BBSRC Energy Grants
 
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Rothamsted Research (100.000%)
Web Site
Objectives Objectives not supplied
Abstract Biomass from energy crops are an important part of the renewable energy mix. Miscanthus is a perennial grass which combines the fast growth rate of a tropical grass with a tolerance to grow at UK temperatures. It requires little to no fertiliser or herbicide inputs and produces a high yield of biomass every year. However as Miscanthus is a new crop, previous research has been extremely limited. This proposal seeks to start addressing this deficit by investigating the molecular basis of flowering by exploiting knowledge in model organisms such as Arabidopsis thaliana, rice and maize. The commercially grown variety of Miscanthus (Miscanthus x giganteus), is a naturally occurring hybrid between two species, M. sacchariflorus and M. sinensis. However flowering appears to be controlled differently in the parental species so that M. sacchariflorus flowers when the daylength is less than 12 hours but M. sinensis flowers when sufficient warm days have been experienced. The hybrid only veryrarely flowers under UK conditions and is sterile. In this project we aim to identify the genes most likely to be involved in flowering time in the two parents of Miscanthus x giganteus. Research on model organisms has identified over 40 genes implicated in flowering time and the equivalent genes in Miscanthus will be identified and tested for an equivalent role. This will enable the development of DNA-based molecular markers for flowering which can be used in the UK Miscanthus breeding programme. Use of molecular markers will help with the optimisation and prediction of flowering time in young plants rather than having to wait three years for plants to gain maturity. It will also help in the selection of parent plants for new crosses. The information gained from this project will help to increase biomass yields in Miscanthus more quickly and efficiently.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 14/12/07