My research goal is to unravel the genetics of flowering time for two ecotypes of switchgrass, which is a potential biofuel. I am especially interested in understanding the mechanisms that drive delayed floral transition in Lowland switchgrass compared to Upland switchgrass. In particular I am looking for structural genomic changes that may underlie divergent flower timing between these two ecotypes. Because late flowering causes switchgrass to be in a vegetative state longer, we hope to research into delayed flowering will inform genetic strategies for producing higher biomass from switchgrass.
1. Peng Qi, Thomas H. Pendergast IV, Alex Johnson, Bochra A. Bahri, Soyeon Choi, Ali Missaoui & Katrien M. Devos (2021) Quantitative trait locus mapping combined with variant and transcriptome analyses identifies a cluster of gene candidates underlying the variation in leaf wax between upland and lowland switchgrass ecotypes. Theor Appl Genet 134, 1957–1975. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-021-03798-y
2. Odonkor S, Choi S, Chakraborty D, Martinez-Bello L, Wang X, Bahri BA, Tenaillon MI, Panaud O, Devos KM (2018) QTL mapping combined with comparative analyses identified genes for reduced shattering in Setaria italica. Front. Plant Sci. 9:918. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00918