Crop Biotech Update

Delayed Flowering Increases Crop's Growth for up to 50%, Research Finds

January 16, 2013

A recent study by the scientists from the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences of Aberystwyth University in Wales, United Kingdom revealed that the delay of flowering in the biofuel crop Miscanthus sacchariflorus can result to a 50% growth increase. The research team grew six varieties of M. sacchariflorus, representing a range of latitudes from their origin in Asia. The use of different temperature and light treatments showed that delaying flowering by an average of 61 days resulted in an average growth increase of 52%.

The findings, published in the Journal of Experimental Botany, also showed that flowering responses in Miscanthus sacchariflorus resembled those of its close relative, Sorghum, another important energy crop. Research by the same group in Aberystwyth has recently highlighted similarities between the sorghum and Miscanthus genomes, meaning that advances in understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying flowering in one crop will likely promote understanding in its counterpart.

See BBRC's news release at http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/industrial-biotechnology/2013/130104-n-delayed-flowering-increase-biofuel-yield.aspx.