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International Journal of Plant Genomics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 313545, 8 pages
Research Article

Advances towards a Marker-Assisted Selection Breeding Program in Prairie Cordgrass, a Biomass Crop

Department of Plant Sciences, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA

Received 3 August 2012; Accepted 29 October 2012

Academic Editor: Shizhong Xu

Copyright © 2012 K. R. Gedye et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Bosc ex Link) is an indigenous, perennial grass of North America that is being developed into a cellulosic biomass crop suitable for biofuel production. Limited research has been performed into the breeding of prairie cordgrass; this research details an initial investigation into the development of a breeding program for this species. Genomic libraries enriched for four simple sequence repeat (SSR) motifs were developed, 25 clones from each library were sequenced, identifying 70 SSR regions, and primers were developed for these regions, 35 of which were amplified under standard PCR conditions. These SSR markers were used to validate the crossing methodology of prairie cordgrass and it was found that crosses between two plants occurred without the need for emasculation. The successful cross between two clones of prairie cordgrass indicates that this species is not self-incompatible. The results from this research will be used to instigate the production of a molecular map of prairie cordgrass which can be used to incorporate marker-assisted selection (MAS) protocols into a breeding program to improve this species for cellulosic biomass production.