Genome sequence and analysis advance sustainable food, feed and fuel resources
From filling breakfast cereal bowls to filling fuel tanks, humans rely heavily on grasses. In the paper, Genome sequencing and analysis of the model grass Brachypodium distachyon, recently published in the journal Nature, researchers with the International Brachypodium Initiative tout the value of the model for studying more complex crop plants. Jeremy Schmutz, a HudsonAlpha faculty investigator, researcher for the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and member of the initiative, noted, “Brachypodium has a small genome and grows quickly, making it a good model for its relatives with much larger genomes, including wheat, barley, sorghum, rice and switchgrass.”
HudsonAlpha researchers, as part of the International Brachypodium Initiative, have spent three years determining the genomic sequence of this grass, primarily supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute Community Sequencing Program. In particular, scientists will now be able to compare genome sequences of this model grass to its relatives, showing how both evolution and human intervention through breeding have rearranged the sequences in some places but not in others. With the data reported in the paper, research on securing sustainable supplies of food, feed, and fuel from grasses has taken a leap forward.
Download the Nature paper below.