Miscanthus (Giant Reed, Silver grass)
Miscanthus (Giant Reed, Silver grass)
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Species: Miscanthus x giganteus

Family: Poaceae, order Poales

Description: potential biofuel source, monocot

Resources: Genome sequencing of M. sinensis in progress (NCBI Project IDs: 32649, 32661. Nandan Biomatrix Ltd.)


References: Ezaki, B. et al. 2008 ; Chou, C.H. 2008 ; Clifton-Brwon, J.C. et al. 2007 ;
           Yuan, J.L. et al. 2008 ; Villaverde, J.J. et al. 2009

Links: Wikipedia

Download: following slides

The genus Miscanthus comprises numerous species. Several features make it a potential biomass/biofuel crop
Miscanthus x giganteus is a sterile triplod hybrid
It is a cross of the M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus. Both of these originally Asian species have spread to North America in the meanwhile
Miscanthus boasts higher energy balance and net energy ratio in comparison to several biofuel production candidates
Calculations indicate farming Miscanthus for this purpose would require less land than switchgrass or corn would
For Miscanthus x giganteus, rhizome is the natural way of propagation. Miscanthus rhizomes grow and develop fast enough to put species of this genus on the list of potentially invasive/prohibited plants in some states
Another feature that makes miscanthus an attractive crop is its tolerance of biotic and abiotic stresses
Miscanthus is considered an environmentally friendly crop due to its capacity to bind carbon dioxide and low fertilizer requirements
Phytochemical studies demonstrated Miscanthus accumulates appreciable amounts of various phenolics and sterols

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Last updated: 16 April 2010