A footprint of past climate change on the diversity and population structure of Miscanthus sinensis

Clark, Lindsay V.; Brummer, Joe E.; Głowacka, Katarzyna; Hall, Megan C.; Heo, Kweon; Peng, Junhua; Yamada, Toshihiko; Yoo, Ji Hye; Yu, Chang Yeon; Zhao, Hua; Long, Stephen P.; Sacks, Erik J.
July 2014
Annals of Botany;Jul2014, Vol. 114 Issue 1, p97
Academic Journal
Background and Aims Miscanthus is a perennial C4 grass that is a leading potential feedstock crop for the emerging bioenergy industry in North America, Europe and China. However, only a single, sterile genotype of M. × giganteus (M×g), a nothospecies derived from diploid M. sinensis (Msi) and tetraploid M. sacchariflorus (Msa), is currently available to farmers for biomass production. To facilitate breeding of Miscanthus, this study characterized genetic diversity and population structure of Msi in its native range of East Asia. Methods A total of 767 accessions were studied, including 617 Msi from most of its native range in China, Japan and South Korea, and 77 ornamental cultivars and 43 naturalized individuals from the USA. Accessions were evaluated with 21 207 restriction site-associated DNA sequencing single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, 424 GoldenGate SNPs and ten plastid microsatellite markers. Key Results Six genetic clusters of Msi from geographically distinct regions in Asia were identified. Genetic data indicated that (1) south-eastern China was the origin of Msi populations found in temperate eastern Asia, which is consistent with this area probably having been a refugium during the last glacial maximum (LGM); (2) Msi migrated directly from south-eastern China to Japan before migrating to the same latitudes in China and Korea, which is consistent with the known sequence of warming post-LGM; (3) ornamental Msi cultivars were derived from the southern Japan population, and US naturalized populations were derived from a sub-set of the ornamental cultivars; and (4) many ornamental cultivars previously described as Msi have hybrid ancestry from Msa and Msi, whereas US naturalized populations of Msi do not. Conclusions Population structure of Msi was driven by patterns of warming since the LGM, and secondarily by geographical barriers. This study will facilitate germplasm conservation, association analyses and identification of potential heterotic groups for the improvement of Miscanthus as a bioenergy crop.


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