Characterization of flowering time diversity in Miscanthus species

Elaine Fiona Jensen, Kerrie Farrar, Sian Thomas Jones, Astley Hastings, Iain Simon Donnison, John Cedric Clifton-Brown

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73 Citations (Scopus)
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Miscanthus sinensis, M. sacchariflorus and their hybrids have been identified as leading candidates for the provision of bioenergy production across several continents. Flowering time is an important trait affecting biomass yield as well as certain quality attributes, such as moisture content at harvest. The aim of this study was to ascertain the level of diversity available to breeders and potential for hybridisation of different accessions in a large collection of Miscanthus.We also sought to determine trends in flowering time within and between species with respect to environment and origin of collection data (where known), whether flowering order was maintained across years, and the extent of uniformity of flowering in different genotypes. Flowering time was observed weekly in 244 genotypes of two Miscanthus species (M. sinensis, M. sacchariflorus) and inter-specific hybrids including M. x giganteus over 3 years and using 4 clonal replicates of each genotype on a trial planted near Aberystwyth (Wales, UK). Differences in flowering time across the entire collection ranged from 160 to 334 days (June to November) and photoperiods between 7.8 and 16.6 h, with associated accumulated temperatures of 161 to 865oCd. More than two thirds of the collection flowered by the end of each growing season. M. sinensis individuals were the earliest genotypes to flower and showed the greatest diversity with respect to the onset of flowering. Flowering times in genotypes of known origin in Asia could be partially explained by growing season rain fall, degree days and mean temperature. Uniform flowering was identified in some genotypes. This will be important for the development of genetically diverse seed-based crops. Rank order of flowering was shown to be consistent across Western Europe, thereby justifying single site trials as the basis of germplasm characterisation for wider geographical deployment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-400
Number of pages14
JournalGCB Bioenergy
Issue number5
Early online date01 Mar 2011
Publication statusPublished - 06 Sept 2011


  • accumulated temperature
  • biofuels
  • degree days
  • floral initiation
  • heading date
  • photoperiod sensitive
  • renewable energy
  • Degree days
  • Accumulated temperature
  • Floral initiation
  • Biofuels
  • Photoperiod sensitive
  • Heading date
  • Renewable energy


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