Project description:BACKGROUND: Miscanthus (subtribe Saccharinae, tribe Andropogoneae, family Poaceae) is a genus of temperate perennial C4 grasses whose high biomass production makes it, along with its close relatives sugarcane and sorghum, attractive as a biofuel feedstock. The base chromosome number of Miscanthus (x = 19) is different from that of other Saccharinae and approximately twice that of the related Sorghum bicolor (x = 10), suggesting large-scale duplications may have occurred in recent ancestors of Miscanthus. Owing to the complexity of the Miscanthus genome and the complications of self-incompatibility, a complete genetic map with a high density of markers has not yet been developed. RESULTS: We used deep transcriptome sequencing (RNAseq) from two M. sinensis accessions to define 1536 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) for a GoldenGate™ genotyping array, and found that simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers defined in sugarcane are often informative in M. sinensis. A total of 658 SNP and 210 SSR markers were validated via segregation in a full sibling F1 mapping population. Using 221 progeny from this mapping population, we constructed a genetic map for M. sinensis that resolves into 19 linkage groups, the haploid chromosome number expected from cytological evidence. Comparative genomic analysis documents a genome-wide duplication in Miscanthus relative to Sorghum bicolor, with subsequent insertional fusion of a pair of chromosomes. The utility of the map is confirmed by the identification of two paralogous C4-pyruvate, phosphate dikinase (C4-PPDK) loci in Miscanthus, at positions syntenic to the single orthologous gene in Sorghum. CONCLUSIONS: The genus Miscanthus experienced an ancestral tetraploidy and chromosome fusion prior to its diversification, but after its divergence from the closely related sugarcane clade. The recent timing of this tetraploidy complicates discovery and mapping of genetic markers for Miscanthus species, since alleles and fixed differences between paralogs are comparable. These difficulties can be overcome by careful analysis of segregation patterns in a mapping population and genotyping of doubled haploids. The genetic map for Miscanthus will be useful in biological discovery and breeding efforts to improve this emerging biofuel crop, and also provide a valuable resource for understanding genomic responses to tetraploidy and chromosome fusion.
Project description:Unilateral introgression from diploids to tetraploids has been hypothesized to be an important evolutionary mechanism in plants. However, few examples have been definitively identified, perhaps because data of sufficient depth and breadth were difficult to obtain before the advent of affordable high-density genotyping. Throughout Japan, tetraploid Miscanthus sacchariflorus and diploid Miscanthus sinensis are common, and occasionally hybridize. In this study, 667 M. sinensis and 78 M. sacchariflorus genotypes from Japan were characterized using 20 704 SNPs and ten plastid microsatellites. Similarity of SNP genotypes between diploid and tetraploid M. sacchariflorus indicated that the tetraploids originated through autopolyploidy. Structure analysis indicated a gradient of introgression from diploid M. sinensis into tetraploid M. sacchariflorus throughout Japan; most tetraploids had some M. sinensis DNA. Among phenotypically M. sacchariflorus tetraploids, M. sinensis ancestry averaged 7% and ranged from 1-39%, with introgression greatest in southern Japan. Unexpectedly, rare (~1%) diploid M. sinensis individuals from northern Japan were found with 6-27% M. sacchariflorus ancestry. Population structure of M. sinensis in Japan included three groups, and was driven primarily by distance, and secondarily by geographic barriers such as mountains and straits. Miscanthus speciation is a complex and dynamic process. In contrast to limited introgression between diploid M. sacchariflorus and M. sinensis in northern China, selection for adaptation to a moderate maritime climate probably favoured cross-ploidy introgressants in southern Japan. These results will help guide the selection of Miscanthus accessions for the breeding of biomass cultivars.
Project description:Miscanthus sinensis is a grass used for sugarcane breeding and bioenergy production. Using high throughput sequencing technologies, we identified a new viral genome in infected M. sinensis leaf tissue displaying yellow fleck symptoms. This virus is most related to members of the genus Polerovirus in the family Luteoviridae. The canonical ORFs were computationally identified, the P3 coat protein was expressed, and virus-like particles were purified and found to conform to icosahedral shapes, characteristic of the family Luteoviridae. We propose the name Miscanthus yellow fleck virus for this new virus.
Project description:Perennial grasses are promising candidates for bioenergy crops, but species that can escape cultivation and establish self-sustaining naturalized populations (feral) may have the potential to become invasive. Fertile Miscanthus × giganteus, known as "PowerCane," is a new potential biofuel crop. Its parent species are ornamental, non-native Miscanthus species that establish feral populations and are sometimes invasive in the USA. As a first step toward assessing the potential for "PowerCane" to become invasive, we documented its growth and fecundity relative to one of its parent species (Miscanthus sinensis) in competition with native and invasive grasses in common garden experiments located in Columbus, Ohio and Ames, Iowa, within the targeted range of biofuel cultivation. We conducted a 2-year experiment to compare growth and reproduction among three Miscanthus biotypes-"PowerCane," ornamental M. sinensis, and feral M. sinensis-at two locations. Single Miscanthus plants were subjected to competition with a native grass (Panicum virgatum), a weedy grass (Bromus inermis), or no competition. Response variables were aboveground biomass, number of shoots, basal area, and seed set. In Iowa, all Miscanthus plants died after the first winter, which was unusually cold, so no further results are reported from the Iowa site. In Ohio, we found significant differences among biotypes in growth and fecundity, as well as significant effects of competition. Interactions between these treatments were not significant. "PowerCane" performed as well or better than ornamental or feral M. sinensis in vegetative traits, but had much lower seed production, perhaps due to pollen limitation. In general, ornamental M. sinensis performed somewhat better than feral M. sinensis. Our findings suggest that feral populations of "PowerCane" could become established adjacent to biofuel production areas. Fertile Miscanthus × giganteus should be studied further to assess its potential to spread via seed production in large, sexually compatible populations.
Project description:Miscanthus is a perennial rhizomatous C4 grass native to East Asia. Endowed with great biomass yield, high ligno-cellulose composition, efficient use of radiation, nutrient and water, as well as tolerance to stress, Miscanthus has great potential as an excellent bioenergy crop. Despite of the high potential for biomass production of the allotriploid hybrid M. ×giganteus, derived from M. sacchariflorus and M. sinensis, other options need to be explored to improve the narrow genetic base of M. ×giganteus, and also to exploit other Miscanthus species, including M. sinensis (2n?=?2x?=?38), as bioenergy crops. In the present study, a large number of 459 M. sinensis accessions, collected from the wide geographical distribution regions in China, were genotyped using 23 SSR markers transferable from Brachypodium distachyon. Genetic diversity and population structure were assessed. High genetic diversity and differentiation of the germplasm were observed, with 115 alleles in total, a polymorphic rate of 0.77, Nei's genetic diversity index (He) of 0.32 and polymorphism information content (PIC) of 0.26. Clustering of germplasm accessions was primarily in agreement with the natural geographic distribution. AMOVA and genetic distance analyses confirmed the genetic differentiation in the M. sinensis germplasm and it was grouped into five clusters or subpopulations. Significant genetic variation among subpopulations indicated obvious genetic differentiation in the collections, but within-subpopulation variation (83%) was substantially greater than the between-subpopulation variation (17%). Considerable phenotypic variation was observed for multiple traits among 300 M. sinensis accessions. Nine SSR markers were found to be associated with heading date and biomass yield. The diverse Chinese M. sinensis germplasm and newly identified SSR markers were proved to be valuable for breeding Miscanthus varieties with desired bioenergy traits.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The Miscanthus genus of perennial C4 grasses contains promising biofuel crops for temperate climates. However, few genomic resources exist for Miscanthus, which limits understanding of its interesting biology and future genetic improvement. A comprehensive catalog of expressed sequences were generated from a variety of Miscanthus species and tissue types, with an emphasis on characterizing gene expression changes in spring compared to fall rhizomes. RESULTS: Illumina short read sequencing technology was used to produce transcriptome sequences from different tissues and organs during distinct developmental stages for multiple Miscanthus species, including Miscanthus sinensis, Miscanthus sacchariflorus, and their interspecific hybrid Miscanthus × giganteus. More than fifty billion base-pairs of Miscanthus transcript sequence were produced. Overall, 26,230 Sorghum gene models (i.e., ~ 96% of predicted Sorghum genes) had at least five Miscanthus reads mapped to them, suggesting that a large portion of the Miscanthus transcriptome is represented in this dataset. The Miscanthus × giganteus data was used to identify genes preferentially expressed in a single tissue, such as the spring rhizome, using Sorghum bicolor as a reference. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to verify examples of preferential expression predicted via RNA-Seq. Contiguous consensus transcript sequences were assembled for each species and annotated using InterProScan. Sequences from the assembled transcriptome were used to amplify genomic segments from a doubled haploid Miscanthus sinensis and from Miscanthus × giganteus to further disentangle the allelic and paralogous variations in genes. CONCLUSIONS: This large expressed sequence tag collection creates a valuable resource for the study of Miscanthus biology by providing detailed gene sequence information and tissue preferred expression patterns. We have successfully generated a database of transcriptome assemblies and demonstrated its use in the study of genes of interest. Analysis of gene expression profiles revealed biological pathways that exhibit altered regulation in spring compared to fall rhizomes, which are consistent with their different physiological functions. The expression profiles of the subterranean rhizome provides a better understanding of the biological activities of the underground stem structures that are essentials for perenniality and the storage or remobilization of carbon and nutrient resources.
Project description:Miscanthus × giganteus is wildly cultivated as a potential biofuel feedstock around the world; however, the narrow genetic basis and sterile characteristics have become a limitation for its utilization. As a progenitor of M. × giganteus, M. sinensis is widely distributed around East Asia providing well abiotic stress tolerance. To enrich the M. sinensis genomic databases and resources, we sequenced and annotated the transcriptome of M. sinensis by using an Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform. Approximately 316 million high-quality trimmed reads were generated from 349 million raw reads, and a total of 114,747 unigenes were obtained after de novo assembly. Furthermore, 95,897 (83.57%) unigenes were annotated to at least one database including NR, Swiss-Prot, KEGG, COG, GO, and NT, supporting that the sequences obtained were annotated properly. Differentially expressed gene analysis indicates that drought stress 15 days could be a critical period for M. sinensis response to drought stress. The high-throughput transcriptome sequencing of M. sinensis under drought stress has greatly enriched the current genomic available resources. The comparison of DEGs under different periods of drought stress identified a wealth of candidate genes involved in drought tolerance regulatory networks, which will facilitate further genetic improvement and molecular studies of the M. sinensis.
Project description:Biohydrogen produced from the electrolysis of biomass is promising because the onset voltages are less than 1.0?V and comparable to those of water and alcohol-water electrolysis. The present study focuses on Miscanthus sinensis as a model grass because of its abundance and ease of cultivation in Japan. The electrochemical performance and hydrogen formation properties of electrolysis cells using grass as a biohydrogen source were evaluated at intermediate temperature to achieve electrolysis. The components, such as holocellulose, cellulose, lignin, and extractives, were separated from Miscanthus sinensis to understand the reactions of Miscanthus sinensis in the electrolysis cell. The relatively high resistivity and low current-voltage performance of an electrolysis cell using lignin were responsible for degradation of the electrolysis properties compared to those with pure cellulose or holocellulose as biohydrogen resources. Biohydrogen was formed according to Faraday's law and evolved continuously at 0.1?A?cm-2 for 3,000?seconds.
Project description:The genera Erianthus and Miscanthus, both members of the Saccharum complex, are of interest as potential resources for sugarcane improvement and as bioenergy crops. Recent studies have mainly focused on the conservation and use of wild accessions of these genera as breeding materials. However, the sequence data are limited, which hampers the studies of phylogenetic relationships, population structure, and evolution of these grasses. Here, we determined the complete chloroplast genome sequences of Erianthus arundinaceus and Miscanthus sinensis by using 454 GS FLX pyrosequencing and Sanger sequencing. Alignment of the E. arundinaceus and M. sinensis chloroplast genome sequences with the known sequence of Saccharum officinarum demonstrated a high degree of conservation in gene content and order. Using the data sets of 76 chloroplast protein-coding genes, we performed phylogenetic analysis in 40 taxa including E. arundinaceus and M. sinensis. Our results show that S. officinarum is more closely related to M. sinensis than to E. arundinaceus. We estimated that E. arundinaceus diverged from the subtribe Sorghinae before the divergence of Sorghum bicolor and the common ancestor of S. officinarum and M. sinensis. This is the first report of the phylogenetic and evolutionary relationships inferred from maternally inherited variation in the Saccharum complex. Our study provides an important framework for understanding the phylogenetic relatedness of the economically important genera Erianthus, Miscanthus, and Saccharum.
Project description:The production of bioenergy from grasses has been developing quickly during the last decade, with Miscanthus being among the most important choices for production of bioethanol. However, one of the key barriers to producing bioethanol is the lack of information about cell wall structure. Cell walls are thought to display compositional differences that lead to emergence of a very high level of complexity, resulting in great diversity in cell wall architectures. In this work, a set of different techniques was used to access the complexity of cell walls of different genotypes of Miscanthus sinensis in order to understand how they interfere with saccharification efficiency. Three genotypes of M. sinensis displaying different patterns of correlation between lignin content and saccharification efficiency were subjected to cell wall analysis by quantitative/qualitative analytical techniques such as monosaccharide composition, oligosaccharide profiling, and glycome profiling. When saccharification efficiency was correlated negatively with lignin, the structural features of arabinoxylan and xyloglucan were found to contribute positively to hydrolysis. In the absence of such correlation, different types of pectins, and some mannans contributed to saccharification efficiency. Different genotypes of M. sinensis were shown to display distinct interactions among their cell wall components, which seem to influence cell wall hydrolysis.