Submitted to: Workshop Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 19, 2005
Publication Date: February 19, 2005
Citation: Huang, Y. 2005. Integrated approaches for genetic improvement of sorghum resistance to insect pests [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 24th Biennial Sorghum Research and Utilization Conference, February 19-22, 2005, Reno, Nevada. 2005 CDROM. Technical Abstract: Crop plants are constantly challenged with various diseases and insect pests. Sorghum is the host to over 150 insect species, which can damage different parts of plants and cause severe economic loss of this crop. Traditional plant breeding efforts, over the past decades, have made tremendous contributions to the genetic improvement of crop plants for pest resistance. Now, the traditional crop improvement programs are expected to be greatly enhanced through integrated approaches incorporating genomics studies and biotechnology. Apparently, the technical feasibility of applying genomics and molecular biology to crop improvement is rapidly becoming a reality. The sorghum research program at USDA-ARS, Stillwater, Oklahoma, is implementing a project towards the development of high-performance sorghum with improved resistance to insect pests. This research group utilizes multidisciplinary approaches and collaborative effort to achieve its research goals. The current research activities of this group involve 1) to identify new or noval sources of genetic resistance in sorghum by screening a large collection of diverse germplasm, 2) to characterize sorghum genes or chromosomal regions responsible for the resistance using traditional genetic methods and DNA markers, 3) using genomics and microarray technology to analyze the interactions between host and pests to aid the discovery of diverse resistance mechanisms in the host plant and virulent factors in the pest, and 4) to develop new breeding materials with improved insect-resistant sorghum germplasm/cultivars using biotechnological and conventional breeding methods. The research program anticipates exciting contributions to the sustainable deployment of newly identified genes with diverse genetic mechanisms for durable resistance in sorghum through such integrated research approaches.