Optimising the development of the energy grass Miscanthus through manipulation of flowering time

Rothamsted Research

Miscanthus is a perennial grass and an ideal energy crop because it combines the fast growth rate of a tropical grass such as sugarcane with a tolerance to grow at UK temperatures. Furthermore it requires little to no fertiliser or herbicide inputs and produces a high yield of biomass every year. However as Miscanthus is a new crop, previous basic research has been extremely limited so that little is know about the regulation of growth and development. This proposal seeks to start addressing this deficit by investigating the molecular basis of flowering. To help in this we will exploit technologies developed for, and knowledge of flowering in, model organisms such as Arabidopsis thaliana, rice and maize.