This proposal seeks support to generate a platinum grade genome sequence for Andropogon gerardii subsp. gerardii (big bluestem). This genome will be valuable for disparate communities of researchers, including many working on projects closely connected to the DOE mission. A. gerardii is the dominant plant of the tallgrass prairie and is the species most often associated with the Great Plains. It plays a role in carbon sequestration, microbial and plant community dynamics, plant-pathogen interactions, and is a key species for grassland restoration. It is also a promising source of cellulosic biofuels. It is of interest to the genomics community, because it is an outcrossing hexaploid, although its genome is not usually large. Because some 35% of flowering plants and 80% of grasses are recent polyploids and many are outcrossing, the tools developed for A. gerardii will open up genomics to an enormous number of plants that are currently left out of the genomics revolution.
Proposer: Elizabeth Kellogg, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center