Through discussion with the JGI Plant Genome Advisory Committee and DOE, a set of JGI plant genomes that are the most important to DOE mission and plant science have been designated as JGI Plant Flagship Genomes. We anticipate that in the future, additional genomes may be added to this list. This selected set of critical species allows us to focus our computational and experimental efforts to move beyond sequence to function and to provide the most direct benefit to mission science. The current Plant Flagships are:
- Poplar – the “DOE tree”, the basis for cellulosic research at ORNL
- Sorghum – widely planted grass crop for biomass, cellulose, and sugar
- Brachypodium – small grass model organism.
- Chlamydomonas – the most studied algal species, model algal organism.
- Soybean – the source of biodiesel and the number two US economic crop
- Foxtail millet – a grass model, recently evolutionary diverged from switchgrass
- Physcomitrella – moss model organism, basic comparator for land plants
Although the flagship designation was initially intended for genomes that had already been draft sequenced, we also consider several additional genomes as proto-flagships because of their importance to DOE biofuel mission; initial sequencing efforts are on-going:
- Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) – a candidate biofuel feedstock that grows on marginal soil and is being used by all of the BioEnergy centers a model crop species
- Miscanthus - a perennial grass species that produces large amounts of cellulosic material with low inputs, one of the top feedstock candidates
- Panicum hallii (Hall’s panicgrass) – a small, evolutionary nearby diploid relative of switchgrass that may serve as laboratory model organism for switchgrass research