Genetic improvement of perennial grass feedstocks, such as switchgrass and related species, are anticipated by current genomics, bioinformatics, association genetics, marker assisted breeding, conventional genetics and other non-GMO approaches. The role that switchgrass as a bioenergy crop will play for sustainable biofuels development are well understood and widely known. This grant explores the novel use of a transgenic herbicide resistance for recovery of wide crosses followed by backcrossing to remove the transgene facilitates recovery of non-GMO hybrids that can be rapidly introduced to the agricultural market without costly R&D and deregulation of GM development. Dr. Kausch’s current research is on the genetic improvement of switchgrass for specific biomass traits and hybrid systems development used for biofuels. Dr. Kausch (FY08) received a $1.4 million award from the Department of Energy to fund basic research on genetics and trait improvement in switchgrass for biofuels. This award was renewed, FY09 and FY10 each for an additional $1.5 million, and in FY11 and FY12 for $1.7 million each year.