Cultural treatments for accelerated growth and flowering of Panicum virgatum

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L. W. Alexander, E. R. Haynes, J. Burris, S. Jackson, and C. N. Stewart, “Cultural treatments for accelerated growth and flowering of Panicum virgatum,” Biofuels, vol. 5, no. 6, pp. 771–780, Nov. 2014.

Cultural treatments for accelerated growth and flowering of Panicum virgatum

Type Journal Article
Author Lisa W. Alexander
Author Ellen R. Haynes
Author Jason Burris
Author Samuel Jackson
Author C. Neal Stewart
Volume 5
Issue 6
Pages 771-780
Publication Biofuels
ISSN 1759-7269
Date November 2, 2014
Journal Abbr Biofuels
DOI 10.1080/17597269.2015.1025466
Accessed 9/27/2015, 8:00:00 PM
Abstract Background: Exploiting heterosis through hybrid breeding is essential to increase biomass yields of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). However, life cycle timespan for clone evaluation for field evaluation is a major limitation to genetic selection. Methods & results: In an attempt to shorten the switchgrass life cycle timespan, we investigated the effect of four variables on the vegetative and reproductive morphology of the P. virgatum cultivar (Alamo): day length, temperature, container size, and application of plant growth regulators. Seedlings grew fastest and reached flowering fastest under 18 hours of daylight with growth being severely and mildly inhibited at 8 h and 23 h, respectively. Under the optimum (18 h) photoperiod, day temperature of 25°C led to the fastest growth and flowering whereas a 5°C increase or decrease inhibited growth and flowering. Within the 18 h/25°C treatment, 44% of plants flowered after 90 d and >15% of plants reached full anthesis or post-anthesis seed set. Conclusions: Allowing 45 d for seed set and 30 d for cold stratification, generation time for the post-anthesis plants grown in 18 h/25°C conditions is approximately 165 days, allowing for the production of two generations of switchgrass per year for accelerating germplasm development for this perennial bioenergy crop.


  • Biomass
  • Crop yield
  • Energy crop
  • Growth chambers
  • Panicum virgatum
  • Photoperiodicity
  • Photoperiodism
  • Plant growth substances
  • Reproduction
  • Rhododendron
  • Spermatophyta

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