Moonsub Lee1, Dokyoung Lee1, Sumin kim2 and A. Lane Rayburn3, (1)Crop Sciences, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL (2)Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, urbana, IL (3)University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
Establishment of bioenergy crops propagated successfully on marginal land will be practical way to reduce the land competition with food crops and to relieve energy security and climate change. Marginal lands are defined as land associated with abiotic stress such as drought, salinity, and flood. These abiotic stresses are pivotal factors that reduce sustainable crop production. Identifying abiotic stress tolerance plants will play a key role in overcoming global demand for agricultural production. In addition, Polyploidy has been hypothesized to increase stress tolerance in plant. Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Link), native North America perennial grass, has been recognized as dedicated energy crops that have the ability to grow on marginal lands; Prairie crodgrass provides a convenient model to study polyploids. To determine relationship between ploidy level and abiotic stress tolerance in Prairie cordgrass, a reproducible protocol for chromosome doubling was established. Colchicine and oryzalin were used as doubling agents. Flow cytometry was used to select doubled plants. Chromosome doubling of Prairie cordgrass is a means to establish different ploidy levels in the same genetic background and then evaluating them under various abiotic stress conditions.