Genetic diversity of Miscanthus sinensis in US naturalized populations

Yongli Zhao, Suma Basak, Christine E. Fleener, Marceline Egnin, Erik J. Sacks, Channapatna S. Prakash, Guohao He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Miscanthus is increasingly gaining popularity as a bioenergy grass because of its extremely high biomass productivity. Many clones of this grass were introduced into United States over the past century from East Asia where it originated, and planted for ornamental and landscaping purposes. An understanding of the genetic diversity among these naturalized populations may help in the efficient selection of potential parents in the Miscanthus breeding program. Here, we report our study analyzing the genetic diversity of 228 MiscanthusDNA samples selected from seven sites in six states (Ohio, North Carolina, Washington D.C., Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) across the eastern United States. Ten transferable DNA markers from other plant species were employed to amplify genomic DNA of Miscanthus because of the paucity of molecular markers in Miscanthus. There were significant genetic variations observed within and among US naturalized populations. The highest genetic diversity (0.3738) was found among the North Carolina genotypes taken from Biltmore Deer Park and Biltmore, Madison County, Cody Rd. The lowest genetic diversity (0.2776) was observed among Virginia genotypes that were diverged from those from other states, suggesting Virginia genotypes might be independently introduced into the United States from the different origin. By the cluster and structure analysis, 228 genotypes were categorized into two major groups that were further divided into six subgroups at the DNA level and the groups were generally consistent with geographic region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-972
Number of pages8
JournalGCB Bioenergy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Miscanthus
  • genetic marker
  • genetic variation
  • transferability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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