Biotechnology of Miscanthus

  • S. J. Dalton


Miscanthus x giganteus is a natural hybrid C4 grass genotype of great size and of a proven utility for biomass cropping, but its growing range is restricted by cold susceptibility. New requirements for fermentability and many other characteristics have also arisen over the last 10 years. However, the Miscanthus x giganteus genotype is not very easily included in breeding programmes because it is a sterile triploid hybrid and cannot produce seed. The genetic resources of the parental species M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus and related species are being collected, studied and analysed using many new genomic and transcriptomic molecular tools. Breeders have selected new cultivars from within the genetic pool of Miscanthus sinensis and have also created new Miscanthus x giganteus and other interspecific hybrids. There is also progress in creating new intergeneric hybrids with close relatives such as sugarcane and sorghum. Initially the main purpose of biotechnology research was to develop cheaper micro-propagation methods for Miscanthus x giganteus, because rhizome propagation was so expensive. More recently, methods of in vitro polyploidy have been developed in the hybrid and two parental species, which will allow the creation of new hybrid combinations and the exploitation of the greater size of polyploids. Genetic transformation by particle bombardment and via Agrobacterium has also been achieved relatively recently and is now being applied to several characteristics potentially involved with fermentation for ethanol production.


Simple Sequence Repeat Marker Callus Induction Embryogenic Callus Shoot Apex Naphthalene Acetic Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Abscisic acid


Amplified fragment length polymorphism


Alpha-aminoxyacetic acid


Bacterial artificial chromosome




Basta resistance gene


Casein hydrolysate


2,4 dichlorophenoxy acetic acid


Doubled haploid


Sulfonamide herbicide resistance gene




Expressed sequence tag


Ferulic acid esterase gene


Ferulic acid esterase






Giberellic acid


Green fluorescent protein


Green fluorescent protein gene




β-glucuronidase gene


Holley and Baker medium


Hygromycin resistance gene


Indole acetic acid


Indole-3-butyric acid






Marker assisted selection


2-(N-morpholino) ethanesulfonic acid




Murashige and Skoog medium


Napthelene acetic acid


Neomycin phosphotransferase gene




Poly-β-hydroxybutyric acid


Potato proteinase II gene






Quantitative trait loci


Xylanase gene


Restriction site associated DNA


Random amplification of polymorphic DNA


Restriction fragment length polymorphism


Single nucleotide polymorphism


Microsatellite simple sequence repeat




2,4,5 trichlorophenoxyacetic acid


β-glucuronidase gene



I am extremely grateful to Phil Morris for critically reading the manuscript, helping with the figures and for such useful advice, discussion and editing. Thanks also to Ray Bilang for pROB5, Peggy Lemaux for pAct1HPT-4, Peter Quail for pAHC27, Rongda Qu and Elumalai Sivamani for pRESQ48, and Seiichi Toki for pUBA. In addition many thanks to colleagues at IBERS including Tim Langdon for pINH1D, pIOM6 and useful discussion, John Clifton-Brown for photographs and useful discussion, Emma Timms-Taravella for expert molecular analysis, Cathy Morris and Charlotte Hayes for expert cytometry, Ana Winters for collaboration over FAE expression, Samantha Gill and Sue Youell for assistance and to Ian Thomas, Elaine Jensen, Maurice Bosch, Joe Gallagher, Paul Robson, Kerrie Farrar and Iain Donnison for useful discussion and for which I also thank Kai Schwarz and Heike Meyer of the Julius Kühn-Institute.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Studies, Aberystwyth UniversityWalesUK

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