Brachypodium distachyon, commonly called purple false brome, is a grass species native to southern Europe, northern Africa and southwestern Asia east to India. It is related to the major cereal grain species wheat, barley, oats, maize, rice, rye, sorghum, and millet. It has many qualities that make it an excellent model organism for functional genomics research in temperate grasses, cereals, and dedicated biofuel crops such as switchgrass. These attributes include small genome (~270 Mbp) diploid accessions, a series of polyploid accessions, a small physical stature, self-fertility, a short lifecycle, simple growth requirements, and an efficient transformation system. The genome of Brachypodium distachyon (diploid inbred line Bd21) has been sequenced and published in Nature in 2010.
Model organism 
Although Brachypodium distachyon has little or no direct agricultural significance, it has several advantages as an experimental model organism for understanding the genetic, cellular and molecular biology of temperate grasses. The relatively small size of its genome makes it useful for genetic mapping and sequencing. At about 272 million base pairs and with five chromosomes, it has a small genome for a grass species. Brachypodium distachyon's small size and rapid life cycle are also advantages. For early-flowering accessions it takes about three weeks from germination to flower (under an appropriate inductive photoperiod). The small size of some accessions makes it convenient for cultivation in a small space. As a weed it grows easily without specialized growing conditions.
Brachypodium is emerging as a powerful model with a growing research community. The International Brachypodium Initiative (IBI) held its first genomics meeting and workshop at the PAG XIV conference in San Diego, California in January 2006. The goal of the IBI is to promote the development of B. distachyon as a model system and will develop and distribute genomic, genetic, and bioinformatics resources such as reference genotypes, BAC libraries, genetic markers, mapping populations, and a genome sequence database. Recently, efficient Agrobacterium-mediated transformation systems have been developed for a range of Brachypodium genotypes enabling the development of T-DNA mutant collections. The characterization and distribution of T-DNA insertion lines has been initiated to facilitate the understanding of gene function in grasses. 
- The International Brachypodium Initiative (2010). "Genome sequencing and analysis of the model grass Brachypodium distachyon". Nature 463 (7282): 763–768. doi:10.1038/nature08747. PMID 20148030.
- John P. Vogel, David F. Garvin, Oymon M. Leong, Daniel M. Hayden. (2006). "Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and inbred line development in the model grass Brachypodium distachyon.". Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 84 (2): 100179–100191. doi:10.1007/s11240-005-9023-9.
- Vain P, Worland B, Thole V, McKenzie N, Alves SC, Opanowicz M, Fish LJ, Bevan MW and Snape JW (2008). "Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of the temperate grass Brachypodium distachyon (genotype Bd21) for T-DNA insertional mutagenesis.". Plant Biotechnology Journal 6 (5): 236–245. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7652.2007.00308.x. PMID 18004984.
- Alves SC, Worland B, Thole V, Snape JW, Bevan MW, Vain P (2009). "A protocol for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of Brachypodium distachyon community standard line Bd21.". Nature Protocols 4 (5): 638–649. doi:10.1038/nprot.2009.30. PMID 19360019.
- Thole V, Alves SC, Worland B, Bevan MW, Vain P (2009). "A protocol for efficiently retrieving and characterising Flanking Sequence Tags (FSTs) in Brachypodium distachyon T-DNA insertional mutants.". Nature Protocols 4 (5): 650–661. doi:10.1038/nprot.2009.32. PMID 19360020.
- Thole V, Worland B, Wright J, Bevan MW, Vain P (2010). "Distribution and characterization of more than 1000 T-DNA tags in the genome of Brachypodium distachyon community standard line Bd21.". Plant Biotechnology Journal 8 (6): 734–747. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7652.2010.00518.x. PMID 20374523.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Brachypodium distachyon|
- www.brachypodium.org - The Brachypodium distachyon Information Resource
- www.brachybase.org - The Brachypodium distachyon genome browser and annotation database
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Brachypodium distachyon