Assessment of Possible Physiological Cold Tolerance Mechanisms of Miscanthus

The generation of agricultural biomass is a key component of Ontario’s emerging bioeconomy. Miscanthus, a warm-season, perennial grass is being considered as a bioenergy crop due to its high yield potential and favourable combustion qualities. One of the primary obstacles to commercializing and establishing miscanthus in Ontario is the poor cold tolerance of some of the genotypes under consideration. Research is needed on the possible physiological mechanisms of miscanthus cold tolerance so that breeders can develop cultivars suitable for the Ontario climate and so that commercial growers pursue promising varieties with low inherent risk of stand establishment failure. Establishing rhizomatous, perennial stands of miscanthus mean less grower flexibility, and high establishment costs. It is therefore of great benefit to our industry partners, New Energy Farms, a commercial miscanthus grower, and the Ontario Forage Council, a farmer advocacy group, that high-yielding, cold tolerant genotypes are identified for further development

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Bill Deen


Katherine Withers


New Energy Farms






University of Guelph



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