Mapping Shows the Way to Where Bio Grass Is Greener; WELSH SCIENTISTS HELP CREATE GENETIC MAP OF ENERGY CROP

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), April 10, 2012 | Go to article overview

Mapping Shows the Way to Where Bio Grass Is Greener; WELSH SCIENTISTS HELP CREATE GENETIC MAP OF ENERGY CROP


Byline: RACHAEL MISSTEAR

SCIENTISTS in Wales and the United States have teamed up to complete the first genetic map of a bio-fuel crop.

The results, they say, provide a significant breakthrough towards advancing the production of bio-energy.

The crop called miscanthus - better known as elephant grass - is native to Africa and South Asia and can grow up to three metres high.

The plant absorbs carbon dioxide but is generally expensive to grow on a large scale.

But researchers hope knowing more about its genetic differences will make it easier to produce and more commercially viable.

Miscanthus has shallow roots and the highest energy-giving properties per hectare of any bio-fuel crop.

It has been grown on a small scale across Europe for two decades, primarily for electricity generation but mass production has so far not been viable.

And it is hoped the scientists' breakthrough will make it quicker to develop the crop in future.

The collaboration was between the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (Ibers) at Aberystwyth University and the Californian-based energy crop company, Ceres.

The team in Aberystwyth created the collection of genetically related plants, and Ceres then sequenced and analysed the DNA.

The project involved generation and analysis of more than 400 million DNA sequences creating a blueprint of the genetic alphabet of the plant.

The scientists identified thousands of genetic differences within the plant, called markers, and went on to create a blueprint of its "genetic alphabet" which will help improve the crop.

More than 3,500 of these markers were used to create the genetic map. In contrast, previous mapping projects discovered only about 600 markers and did not fully characterise the structure of all the miscanthus chromosomes, a necessary step in establishing a high-tech plant breeding program.

Professor Iain Donnison, head of the bio-energy team at Aberystwyth, said the programme has provided new insight into the evolution of the species.

"This rich library of information took decades to produce in other crops, but with modern biology and genomics technology Ceres and Ibers have put together what I believe is one of the world's most comprehensive marker-based breeding programs in miscanthus," he said. "The joint miscanthus development programme with Ceres has provided new insight into the evolution of the species as well as the similarities and differences in populations across different countries and environments."

Ceres chief scientific officer Richard Flavell said the rapid improvements in breeding made possible by this mapping project are needed for miscanthus to be more widely used as an energy crop.

"By defining the genetic diversity in our germplasm collections with the new DNA markers, we can more rapidly introduce important crop traits into our new, seed-propagated miscanthus products," said Dr Flavell.

He said that unlike the most popular current miscanthus that is vegetatively propagated, Ceres' seeded types are expected to require significantly less time, effort and money to be bred for different environments and to be established by growers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Mapping Shows the Way to Where Bio Grass Is Greener; WELSH SCIENTISTS HELP CREATE GENETIC MAP OF ENERGY CROP
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.