May 15, 2012
Sequencing and Analysis of a Reference Genome for the Model Plant Setaria
The high quality whole genome assembly of the diploid S. italica is proving valuable as a framework in assisting with the genome assembly of other polyploid sequenced grasses, notably switchgrass. Comparison between the genomes of S. italica and S. viridis, switchgrass, sorghum and rice have revealed both shared and unique properties of the independent adaptations of several grasses to life on earth. Phylogenetic analysis of five nuclear genes shows that millet and switchgrass lineages underwent independent polyploidization events, both of which occurred after the divergence of Panicum from Setaria. The completed genome sequence enables the further development of Setaria as a model plant, improves our understanding of cell wall composition, plant structure and development and traits that are pertinent to the development of biofuel crops.