Morphological traits and metabolics reveal inter- and intra-species diversity within the model annual grasses Brachypodium distachyon, B. stacei and B. hybridum. López-Alvarez et al. investigate inter- and intraspecific phenotypic and metabolomic variation of this group of grasses.
Eight phenotypic characters and 434 tentatively annotated m/z signals significantly discriminated the three species. Intraspecific phenotypic variation was found within B. distachyon and B. stacei, whereas populations of B. hybridum were considerably less differentiated. Pollen grain length and lemma length were significantly associated with 10 and 6 metabolomic traits, respectively. These results could guide the selection of new germplasm lines of the three model grasses in on-going GWAS experiments.