Marker-assisted verification of Kinggrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach. x Pennisetum glaucum [L.] R. Br.) Academic Article uri icon


  • Perennial grasses currently targeted for large-scale deployment as biofuel feedstocks have not been definitively characterized regarding their potential weediness from either or both seed- and rhizome-derived propagules. Kinggrass (napiergrass [Pennisetum purpureum Schumach.] x pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum {L.} R. Br.]) is unique as a seed-sterile, non-rhizomatous, perennial crop that is capable of high biomass production during the establishment year. For this study, controlled crosses were made between napiergrass and pearl millet to produce novel Kinggrass genotypes for potential biofuel crop production. Hybrids could not be confirmed by observing morphological traits because all progeny resembled napiergrass. Consequently, a DNA marker survey of napiergrass and pearl millet was conducted to validate purported napiergrass x pearl millet interspecific hybrids with Expressed Sequence Tag-Simple Sequence Repeats (EST-SSR). Three paternal, pearl millet-specific markers, as well as six codominant markers, were identified and used to screen putative Kinggrass hybrids. All paternal-specific EST-SSRs were present in each of the F1 individuals, and the codominant EST-SSR markers fit within the expected transmission ratios. These EST-SSRs confirmed that all individuals analyzed were true Kinggrass hybrids, and they provide valuable molecular tools towards more rapid development of elite biofuel Kinggrass feedstocks.

published proceedings

  • Plant OMICS

author list (cited authors)

  • Dowling, C. D., Burson, B. L., & Jessup, R. W

complete list of authors

  • Dowling, CD||Burson, BL||Jessup, RW

publication date

  • January 2014