Genetic Improvement of Switchgrass and Other Herbaceous Plants for Use as Biomass Fuel Feedstock

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It should be highly feasible to genetically modify the feedstock quality of switchgrass and other herbaceous plants using both conventional and molecular breeding techniques. Effectiveness of breeding to modify herbages of switchgrass and other perennial and annual herbaceous species has already been demonstrated. The use of molecular markers and transformation technology will greatly enhance the capability of breeders to modify the plant structure and cell walls of herbaceous plants. It will be necessary to monitor gene flow to remnant wild populations of plants and have strategies available to curtail gene flow if it becomes a potential problem. It also will ... continued below

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52 pages

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Vogel, K.P. January 11, 2001.

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Description

It should be highly feasible to genetically modify the feedstock quality of switchgrass and other herbaceous plants using both conventional and molecular breeding techniques. Effectiveness of breeding to modify herbages of switchgrass and other perennial and annual herbaceous species has already been demonstrated. The use of molecular markers and transformation technology will greatly enhance the capability of breeders to modify the plant structure and cell walls of herbaceous plants. It will be necessary to monitor gene flow to remnant wild populations of plants and have strategies available to curtail gene flow if it becomes a potential problem. It also will be necessary to monitor plant survival and long-term productivity as affected by genetic changes that improve forage quality. Information on the conversion processes that will be used and the biomass characteristics that affect conversion efficiency and rate is absolutely essential as well as information on the relative economic value of specific traits. Because most forage or biomass quality characteristics are highly affected by plant maturity, it is suggested that plant material of specific maturity stages be used in research to determining desirable feedstock quality characteristics. Plant material could be collected at various stages of development from an array of environments and storage conditions that could be used in conversion research. The same plant material could be used to develop NIRS calibrations that could be used by breeders in their selection programs and also to develop criteria for a feedstock quality assessment program. Breeding for improved feedstock quality will likely affect the rate of improvement of biomass production per acre. If the same level of resources are used, multi-trait breeding simply reduces the selection pressure and hence the breeding progress that can be made for a single trait unless all the traits are highly correlated. Since desirable feedstock traits are likely to be similar to IVDMD, it is likely that they will not be highly positively correlated with yield. Hence to achieve target yields and improve specific quality traits, it will likely be necessary to increase the resources available to plant breeders. Marker assisted selection will be extremely useful in breeding for quality traits, particularly for traits that can be affected by modifying a few genes. Genetic markers are going to be needed for monitoring gene flow to wild populations. Transformation will be a very useful tool for determining the affects of specific genes on biomass feedstock quality.

Physical Description

52 pages

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  • Other Information: PBD: 11 Jan 2001

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  • Report No.: ORNL/SUB/90-90OR21954/1
  • Grant Number: AC05-96OR22464
  • DOI: 10.2172/777678 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 777678
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc717078

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  • January 11, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 29, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

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  • March 21, 2016, 7:11 p.m.

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Vogel, K.P. Genetic Improvement of Switchgrass and Other Herbaceous Plants for Use as Biomass Fuel Feedstock, report, January 11, 2001; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc717078/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.