January 15-19, 2011
Town & Country Convention Center
San Diego, CA
Geunhwa Jung1 , Loreto Araneda1 , Jonathan Hulvey1 , Scott Warnke2
Understanding of grass genome structure and evolution has been significantly advanced through comparative genomics. However, the genomes of most cool-season forage and turf grasses belonging to the Pooideae subfamily of the grasses remain understudied. Rice (Ehrhartoideae subfamily) has been used extensively for comparative genomics of grasses due to its available genome sequence, but its utility for comparative genome analysis of temperate cereals, forage, and turfgrasses is limited due to its distant evolutionary relatedness to the Pooideae. Brachypodium distachyon is better suited as a model species for comparative genomics of the Pooideae spp., and the recent availability of the whole genome of this grass makes this feasible. Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera, allotetraploid 2n=4x=28) is one of the most important cool-season turfgrasses widely used on golf courses due to its low mowing tolerance and aggressive growth habit. Genome analysis of this recently domesticated polyploid creeping bentgrass can add to the understanding of the evolution and domestication of grasses. Comparative genome analysis of A. agrostis and B. distachyon was performed using 8,470 publically available A. stolonifera EST (AgEST) sequences and 229 physically mapped RFLP markers. As many as 678 AgEST had orthologs in the Brachypodium genome. Insights from comparative genomics with Brachypodium will be useful for genetic improvement of Agrostis spp. and provide a better understanding of the evolution of the Pooideae subfamily species.