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Genomic Science Program

2013 Awardee

Accelerated development of optimal pine feedstocks for bioenergy and renewable chemicals using genome-wide selection

INVESTIGATORS: Kirst, M.; Peter, G.; Munoz, P.

INSTITUTIONS: University of Florida

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Southern pines have the demonstrated potential to be a major source of biomass for bioenergy, biofuels, and renewable chemicals. However, for pines to meet their full potential, cultivars that are more productive and can be more efficiently converted into liquid fuels need to be developed. This aim will not be achieved using traditional genetic improvement, which is logistically complex, expensive, and where a single breeding cycle takes almost two decades. Thus, new breeding strategies that accelerate the development of cultivars that are suitable for bioenergy production need to be applied. Our overall goal is to hyper-accelerate pine breeding using genome-wide selection, generating cultivars of loblolly and slash pine tailored to produce high energy yields that are ready for deployment within the duration of this project.

OBJECTIVES: 1. Based on advanced genome-wide selection prediction models, identify and make crosses optimized for the generation of families with favorable bioenergy traits. This will establish the first generation of pine cultivars designed specifically for bioenergy production. 2. Establish the foundation for long-term pine breeding for bioenergy, by genotyping and phenotyping recently developed advanced breeding populations of each loblolly and slash pine. Genome-wide selection prediction models will be generated for these breeding populations, for future development of the next generation of bioenergy pine cultivars.

APPROACH: In the first aim, highly accurate genome-wide selection prediction models will be used to rapidly identify and generate crosses of loblolly pine designed to support the short-term needs of the bioenergy industry. Genome-wide selection prediction models were previously developed for this population, which has been grown at multiple sites, and was phenotyped for growth, disease resistance and juvenile wood composition traits (lignin, cellulose, and terpene content). Highly productive families with high cellulose (for biofuels), high lignin (for biopower) or high terpene (for renewable chemicals/biofuels) content will be generated by making crosses that optimize allelic combinations in the progeny. In the second aim, advanced breeding populations of loblolly and slash pine that encompass broad genetic diversity of each species will be genotyped and phenotyped to create genome-wide selection prediction models for growth traits, wood chemistry and terpene flow.

Name: Kirst, M
Fax: 352-846-1277



Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy Abstracts [9/16]

Basic Research Opportunities in Genomic Science to Advance the Production of Biofuels and Bioproducts from Plant Biomass White Paper [6/15]

Lignocellulosic Biomass for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts: Workshop Report [2/15]

Sustainable Bioenergy [05/14]

USDA/DOE Plant Feedstocks Genomics for Bioenergy Program: Project Director / Principal Investigator Meeting [01/14]

Switchgrass Research Group: Progress Report [1/12]


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