Ű0113fa82&e?99440571> gene that influences grain yield in grasses that
are related to food crops was discovered by researchers at the Donald
Danforth Plant Science Center's Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for
Renewable Fuels (Enterprise Institute).
In a paper published in Nature Plants on April 18, 2017, a team led by Dr.
Thomas Brutnell, director of the Enterprise Institute, and researchers at
the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI), conducted
796c4f44b&e?99440571> genetic screens to identify
d?23fb83c1&e?99440571> genes that may play a role in flower development
on the panicle of green foxtail. Green foxtail is a wild relative of foxtail
millet, and these Setaria species are related to several candidate
ob70148f6&e?99440571> bioenergy grasses (switchgrass and Miscanthus) and
serve as model systems to study grasses that photosynthetically fix carbon
from CO2 through a water-conserving (C4) pathway.
The research team identified four mutations that lead to reduced and uneven
flower clusters. They also identified the gene in green foxtail that could
be a determinant in controlling grain yield, which is crucial in improving
food crops such as
n20e0eeeb&e?99440571> maize. To identify the causative mutation, the
Brutnell lab screened 2,700 M2 families and deep sequenced a mutant pool.
They confirmed that a homologous gene in maize played a similar role.
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