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Title: Physiology and molecular biology of Miscanthus genotypes grown under U.K. conditions
Author: Hayes, Charlotte Mary.
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 2005
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Miscanthus is found in many different environments in the wild and thus may have a broad genetic base which could be exploited by a genetic improvement programme. Miscanthus sinensis is found in higher and colder latitudes than Miscanthus sacchariflorus, which is usually found closer to sea level. However, M sacchariflorus achieves taller canopy height and is later in maturing. Therefore, for United Kingdom (U.K.) conditions the combination of the lower temperature adapted traits of M sinensis with the higher productive potential of M sacchariflorus is required. No previous work has been performed on the effect of the altitude at which plants are collected on their adaptation to U.K. conditions. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to differentiate by physiological and molecular methods between and within the genotypes of Miscanthus sampled from different altitudes in Japan. Physiological analysis was undertaken, in the field, over 3 seasons in order to determine which parameters could be used as predictors of productivity. In the second growth season a modified method was used to measure leaf extension rate (CliftonBrown, 1997) and this was found to correlate positively to annual production when measured during the vegetative phase of growth. Results also confirmed that genotypes with a flowering date in September and October were more productive since the length of the vegetative growth stage was increased. Considerable variation was found to be present both between, as well as within, the genotypes and ecotypes of Miscanthus studied, which could be exploited in an improvement programme. Further analysis was also carried out at the genetic level using the AFLP fingerprinting technique; this confirmed the results obtained using the physiological parameters. However, no clear link could be found between the altitude at which the plant was collected and the traits exhibited. It was found that late flowering M. sinensis outperfonned M. sacchariflorus genotypes primarily because of differences between stem densities. The results obtained show that a Miscanthus breeding programme for U.K. conditions is feasible as considerable variation in productivity related traits is present at the genetic as well as the physiological level.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available