Two independent Miscanthus sinensis chromosome maps show that M. sinesis has undergone a number of chromosome duplications and fusions, says ScienceDaily. In the first study, researchers from Ceres present a high-resolution linkage map of M. sinensis that they developed using genotyping by sequencing. As they report in PLoS One, the Ceres researchers found that the diploid M. sinensis has a tetraploid origin and contains two sub-genomes. The second study, from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne's Stephen Moose and the DOE Joint Genome Institute's Daniel Rokhsar used RNA-seq and a genotyping array to construct an M. sinensis genotype map that also shows a tetraploid origin. "The genus Miscanthus experienced an ancestral tetraploidy and chromosome fusion prior to its diversification, but after its divergence from the closely related sugarcane clade," researchers led by Moose and Rokhsar write in BMC Genomics.
M. sinensis is an ornamental plant, ScienceDaily notes, but it is closely related to the biofuel crop Miscanthus giganteus. Having a chromosome map is a step toward a Miscanthus genome, and such a genome "will help scientists understand the evolution of grasses and the genetic mechanisms that give them their desirable traits," ScienceDaily adds.