The perennial grass switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a candidate bioenergy feedstock, with deep roots that allow it to access nutrients easily from a variety of soils and a higher tolerance for extreme water conditions. To better understand the genetic basis of local adaptation, researchers established community gardens of switchgrass plants in 10 different field sites on a north-south gradient across the United States. Early results reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences from these large-scale field tests conducted over two years reveal fewer tradeoffs in plant fitness and adaptation than expected. Read the full science highlight on the JGI website.
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