报告题目：Genetic Control of Flowering Time in Switchgrass
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a valuable bioenergy crop and is likely to provide a significant amount of biomass. One key factor that influences biomass yield accumulation is the timing of phase change from juvenile (vegetative) to adult with reproductive competence. This switch to the flowering stage can largely draw the resources produced from the photosynthetic materials to the reproductive tissue. A decline in biomass yield is typically observed in switchgrass immediately following completion of flowering. If flowering time can be delayed about 4-5 weeks, biomass yield can potentially increase 30-50%. To develop a rational strategy for creating improved switchgrass with late flowering, it would be beneficial to have a better understanding of the genes that control flowering time in switchgrass. This presentation will discuss the genetic control of the flowering time of switchgrass by integrating genetic, genomic, and bioinformatics approaches. The genome-wide association study, QTL analysis and transcriptome profiling have been conducted for gene identification of flowering time in switchgrass. Future research on genomic prediction of flowering time and using high throughput phenotyping platform for plant growth analysis will also be discussed. Knowledge gained from the study of genetic control of flowering time will aid breeding programs in developing late flowering varieties of switchgrass that fully utilize the growing season and achieve high biomass yield.