Genome Size of Three Miscanthus Species
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Environmental and economic factors have stimulated research in the area of bioenergy crops. While many plants have been identified as potential energy crops, one species in particular, Miscanthus x giganteus, appears to have the most promise. As researchers attempt to exploit and improve M. x giganteus, genome information is critical. In this study, the genome size of M. x giganteus and its two progenitor species were examined by flow cytometry and stomatal cell analyses. M. x giganteus was found to have genome size of 7.0 pg while Miscanthus sinensis and Miscanthus sacchariflorus were observed to have genome sizes of 5.5 and 4.5 pg respectively with stomatal size correlating with genome size. Upon computing the two tetraploid × diploid hybrids theoretical genome sizes, the data presented in this paper supports the hypothesis of the union of a 2x M. sacchariflorus and a 1x M. sinensis gamete for the formation of the allotriploid, M. x giganteus. Such genomic information provides basic knowledge that is important in M. x giganteus plant improvement.
KeywordsFlow cytometry Nuclear DNA content Guard cells Miscanthus
The authors thank the Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research (C-FAR) SRI grant entitled “Biomass Energy Crops for Power and Heat Generation in Illinois: Diversifying Cropping, Improving Energy Security and Benefiting the Environment” for providing funding for this research. The authors thank Dr. B. Pilas of the Flow Cytometry Facility, a resource of the University of Illinois Biotechnology Center, for her assistance.
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