RNA sequencing enables researchers to gain information about gene expression. In this case it is being used to identify the genetic basis and molecular mechanisms in switchgrass, particularly related to cell wall synthesis, for bioenergy crop relevant traits. Switchgrass is being developed as a bioenergy crop because it is already high-yielding and stress tolerant; nonetheless, further improvements are needed to improve sustainability of advanced-generation biofuel production. The data gathered through this project will be tested toward the goal of developing genetically improved plants with superior digestibility and yield.
PI: Laura Bartley, University of Oklahoma