Miscanthus is a perennial high yielding grass from East Asia. It is an environmentally benign plant with a lot of using alternatives. One of the most promising are the use fibre plant or for combustion. Several experiments with Miscanthus 'Giganteus', a sterile hybrid, showed a good potential of this plant in Europe but also showed a lot of problems like unsufficient winter survival
and a low adaption to most ecological regions of Europe. All these experiments have been done with one single clone and there is no
genetical variability available in Europe that could be used to overcome these problems. But there is a vast genetic variability in the East Asian region, the origin of Miscanthus. A lot of Miscanthus germplasm has been collected by some of the project partner in China and Japane.
Objective of this project is to provide germplasm to broaden the genetic base of Miscanthus in Europe and to provide breeding techniques for Miscanthus. So all European regions can be supplied with varieties that can: - satisfy the demands of different ecological regions in Europe, - fulfill the quality standards set for specific industrial uses, and - reduce the risk of widespread occurrence of pests and diseases.
These objectives will be attained by:
1. testing different genotypes in field tests in different climatical regions and analysing their fibre and combustion quality:
- to determine the clonal adaptability to ecological conditions,
- to determine the influence of climate an yield and quality (combustion and fibre quality) of the biomass,
- to determine the influence of the genotype on yield, quality and winter survival,
- to determine the environment-genotype interactions, and
- to be able to predict what genotype is suitable for any given ecological zone in Europe.
2. developing breeding methods for Miscanthus that will enable: - polyploidization by in vivo and in vitro chromosome doubling,
- intra- and interspecific hybridization by studies of incompatibility barriers
- flower synchronisation of species (M. sacchariflorus and M. sinens;s),
- in situ seed setting, and
- seed germination studies.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
AL5 2JQ Harpenden
268 81 Svalöv
39164 Klein Wanzleben