Apomixis, or asexual reproduction through seeds, allows the preservation of hybrid vigor across generations and could have tremendous impact on breeding and seed systems if installed in crops. The genetic control of apomixis is relatively simply inherited, but the genes are found in low-recombining regions of genomes that are large, polyploid, and complex. The proposed research seeks to sequence multiple apomict genomes to further enable apomixis gene discovery and comparative genomics within the grass family. The selected apomicts are closely related to switchgrass, one of DOE’s focus crops for bioenergy, and discoveries could lead to development of improved heterozygous clones through seed.
Proposer: Peggy Ozias-Akins, University of Georgia
Proposal: Sequencing of apomictic relatives of switchgrass for apomixis gene discovery and comparative genomics