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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Genetic Enhancement of Sorghum as a Versatile Crop

Location: Plant Stress and Germplasm Development Research

Project Number: 3096-21000-020-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Mar 1, 2013
End Date: Feb 28, 2018

The long-term objective of this plan is to develop sorghum inbred lines that possess superior tolerance to abiotic stresses, and high biomass and grain yield potential. We will integrate natural variation, induced mutation, phenotype-based and marker-assisted selection to identify the desirable traits and introduce them into elite sorghum inbred lines. Specifically, during the next 5 years we will focus on the following objectives: Objective 1: Develop new screening tools and genetic resources to identify sorghum lines with high grain or biomass yield potential under drought and temperature stresses. Subobjective 1A: Evaluate the relationship between dhurrin concentrations and the staygreen trait. Subobjective 1B: Evaluate the diversity of the stay-green trait among sorghum germplasm collections. Subobjective 1C: Evaluate the efficacy of stay-green markers in F1 hybrids. Objective 2: Identify novel sources of genetic variation for cold temperature and drought tolerance in sorghum. Subobjective 2A: Develop high resolution genetic and QTL maps using new ARS mapping populations to discover robust and effective DNA markers conditioning early season cold tolerance, and validate marker-assisted selection using a subset of cold tolerant inbreds. Subobjective 2B: Identify markers or genes associated with high seed number and erect leaf traits. Objective 3: Develop improved grain sorghum and non-grain, energy sorghum breeding lines with high grain or biomass yield potential under high abiotic stress environments. Subobjective 3A: Develop and release novel ARS germplasm with enhanced abiotic stress traits such as stay-green, cold tolerance, high grain number, and erect leaf traits.

Superior traits that enhance sorghum grain and biomass yield and abiotic stress tolerance, identified previously from mutation population and natural germplasm collections, will be mapped using classical genetic analysis and the state-of- art Next-Generation Sequencing technology. Molecular markers will be developed for the rapid introgression of these traits into elite commercial lines. Lines with high yield potential and superior resilience to abiotic stresses will be developed through a systematic approach integrating physiology, marker-assisted selection, and conventional breeding.

Last Modified: 05/24/2017
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