Submitted to: Biennial Grain Sorghum Research and Utilization Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 14, 2007
Publication Date: January 16, 2007
Citation: Burow, G.B., Franks, C.D., Burke, J.J. 2007. Physiological basis of early season cold tolerance in select Chinese and US germplasm of sorghum [abstract]. Biennial Grain Sorghum Research and Utilization Conference, January 14-16, 2007, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico. p. 12-13. Technical Abstract: Sorghum occupies a unique position as a grain crop, for it serves as the major substrate utilized in high demand by both livestock and bio-energy sectors. This dramatic increase in demand for sorghum grains is highly welcomed, but necessitates increased production. To meet the increased demand, it is crucial that improved sorghum lines with enhanced productivity under stressed conditions be available. It is recognized that a major drawback associated with sorghum cultivation is its sensitivity to chilling conditions. Chilling stress shortens the duration of the growing season and restricts the areas suitable for cultivation of sorghum. A comprehensive study of alpha and beta amylases in sorghum have been initiated in relation to their physiological and molecular roles during chilling tolerance and towards understanding their possible role in enhancing the energy yield from grain sorghum. An assay for secreted alpha amylase in vivo was developed and described. Variability in alpha amylase secretion was found associated with increased rate of germination. Increase in beta amylase activity was also correlated with rapid germination. Molecular studies of alpha and beta amylase suggest that in sorghum both enzymes are represented by gene families.