1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this project is to develop an improved understanding of the physiological, molecular, and genetic basis of abiotic stress tolerance in sorghum in order to increase the productivity and nutritional quality of sorghum. Over the next 5 years we will focus on the following specific objectives: Objective 1: Develop and utilize new screening tools to identify and create novel sources of drought tolerance in sorghum. Objective 2: Identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) contributing to abiotic stress tolerance and implement molecular marker-assisted selection for sorghum improvement. Objective 3: Identify physiological traits associated with abiotic stress tolerance in superior germplasm and improved breeding materials.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
A comprehensive approach integrating Plant Physiology, Genetic Mapping, and Plant Breeding will be used to study the mechanisms of abiotic stress tolerance in sorghum and to develop superior germplasm with enhanced abiotic stress tolerance.
3. Progress Report
This new project 6208-21000-017-00D "Molecular and Genetic Enhancement of Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Sorghum" started in March 2008 and is a continuation of the old project 6208-21000-015-00D. Subobjective 2C was suspended due to the loss of a scientist to private industry. We plan to re-start this subobjective once the position is refilled. A method to screen staygreen trait was tested that substantially met the milestone. (NP301 Component 2)
1. A short-leaf sorghum mutant characterized: Simultaneous improvement of biomass features and tolerance to abiotic stresses are critical aspects of attaining sustainable high dry matter for biomass application of sorghum. Scientists at Plant Stress and Germplasm Development Unit, Lubbock, TX, characterized a short-leaf (slsl) mutant, KFS2061. The mutant exhibited shorter leaf length with steeper leaf angles. The mutant has the potential to increase biomass production and water use efficiency due to its effective capture of solar radiation. A mapping population consisting of about 2,000 F2 progenies derived from the cross between BTx623 and KFS 2061 was developed to identify the gene for SL. (NP301, Component 2)
5. Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations