As part of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center and in collaboration with Shawn Kaeppler (University of Wisconsin), Natalia de Leon (University of Wisconsin), and Michael Casler (USDA-ARS),
we are characterizing the genetic diversity in switchgrass as part of the overall effort of the GLBRC to improve the efficiency of the development of switchgrass as a sustainable biofuel crop.
We have assembled the switchgrass transcriptome, developed an exome capture probe set for switchgrass (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tpj.12601/abstract) and are currently using it to characterize the genetic diversity in various panels of switchgrass that represent upland and lowland ecotypes,
tetraploid and octoploid ploidies, and native as well as cultivated accessions of switchgrass (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tpj.13041/abstract).
The genetic datasets are being used in genome wide association studies and in genome prediction efforts to advance improved varieties for biofuel feedstock production.