Brachypodium distachyon belongs to the Poaceae family, such as wheat, barley, oats, maize, rice, rye, sorghum and millet. It is an annual wild grass endemic to the Mediterranean and Middle East regions.
Cultivated poaceae are one of the most important resources in human nutrition. The continuous improvement of their cultivation is a major challenge, both to feed the world’s population, and for the development of renewable energies through the production of new fuels (bioethanol). It provides an excellent model for temperate grass research, in particular because of its small diploid genome (about 270 million bp), small size, autogamy, short life cycle, simple growing conditions and efficient transformation system. Its phylogenetic position as well as the publication of its genome stregthens this model as a tool for functional genomics, and also allows comparative analyses of the genome of other important cultivated grass species.
Brachypodium distachyon is autogamous (though it can be cross-pollinated) and has a short annual life cycle. The generation time is about 8 weeks. Growth conditions are not very demanding. The small size of the accessions is another advantage for the crop yield as small space can support a large number of specimens.
Genetics and Genomics of Brachypodium / Editors: Vogel, John P. (Ed.)
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