Work Package 2

Pre-breeding and selection of grasses

The candidate energy crops so far identified are largely undomesticated and have not undergone the centuries of improvement that characterise our current major food crops (Koonin, 2006; Vermerris, 2008). This even applies also to cocksfoot, tall fescue and reed canary grass where breeding started only in recent decades. The requirement will be to select appropriate species and genotypes that are adapted to the local soil and climatic conditions which exist in marginal areas.

Selection criteria need to be based on the triple goals of maximising productivity, minimising inputs and maximising utilisation for energy production. Some of the traits of particular interest in breeding programmes are drought tolerance, frost tolerance, maintenance of growth at low temperature, chemical composition, resistance to pests and diseases, altering plant architectural features such as dwarf structure and erect leaves and differences in photosynthetic capacity.

Publications related to this work package:



Perennial Biomass Crops for a Resource Constrained World Programme, Proceedings of Biomass 2015, Stuttgart, Germany, 2015.


Klaas M, Cormican P, Michel T, Velmurugan J & Barth S (2014) Genotyping of a collection of Miscanthus spp. accessions. Presented at Plant and Animal Genome XXII, San Diego, 10th-15th January, 2014
Manfred Klaas1, Niina Haiminen2, Filippo Utro2, Tia Vellani1, Cora Muennich3, Thomas Didion4, Christian Sig Jensen4, Laxmi Parida2, Susanne Barth1 (2014) Exploring differentially expressed genes and pathways under drought, flooding and salinity conditions in reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), an autopolyploid C3 forage and bioenergy grass species



Barth S, Klaas M, Burke B, Doyle D & Finnan J (2013) Perennial grasses for marginal soils. TResearch 8(3), p 42-43

Partners involved in Work Package 2