Mapping the genome of Miscanthus sinensis for QTL associated with biomass productivity

Justin M. Gifford, Won Byoung Chae, Kankshita Swaminathan, Stephen P. Moose, John A. Juvik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In light of rising energy costs, lignocellulosic ethanol has been identified as a renewable alternative to petroleum-based transportation fuels. In an attempt to reach government mandated ethanol production levels, potential plant biofeedstock candidates have been investigated, and cold-tolerant, perennial accessions within the C4 grass genus Miscanthus have been identified as leading contenders in the Midwestern US. To facilitate the development of improved cultivars through marker-assisted breeding, a quantitative trait locus (QTL) study was conducted on a full-sib, F1 mapping population segregating for flowering time, height, leaf width, and yield using a genetic map consisting of 846 segregating SNP and SSR markers. This was a 3 year study investigating the genetic architecture underlying traits important to biomass production in a population of 221 progeny from a cross between M. sinensis 'Grosse Fountaine' and M. sinensis 'Undine' established in the spring of 2010; 72 QTLs with LOD scores above the genome-wide, permuted threshold equivalent to a P-value of 0.05 were identified across 13 traits. Of the 36 QTLs identified in 2011, 22 were detected again the following year. Both the use of spring emergence and vigor rating as a covariate to account for variation related to differences in establishment increased the power to detect QTLs in the 2 year establishment period. Finally, a dry period in the middle of the 2012 growing season suggested that yield declines were due to a decrease in tiller diameter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-810
Number of pages14
JournalGCB Bioenergy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Biofuel
  • Biomass
  • Drought tolerance
  • Genetic architecture
  • Miscanthus
  • QTL
  • Synteny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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