Genetic transformation of Switchgrass plants with FNR-FLD flavodoxin genes for drought resistance and salt tolerance
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Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a warm-grass native to North America’s prairies. It is a common forage grass and high potential biofuel crop. To produce the maximum number of biofuels, the switchgrass plants must have favorable conditions including water and heat; otherwise; the plants yield will be low and an economic loss in agriculture. We are attempting to overexpress the FNR-FLD gene using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation to improve the survival abilities of switchgrass. Previous studies have shown that overexpressing the FNR-FLD gene in creeping bentgrass plants gave the plants an advantage during unfavorable conditions. This gene product decreases susceptibility to drought and salt, allowing the plants to flourish and have maximum yields of various products that are useful in the industry. Transgenic switchgrass has been obtained and is continually undergoing molecular and physiological analysis, and progeny test.