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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Grain Quality and Structure Research » Research » Research Project #429260

Research Project: Analysis of Sorghum Grain Composition to Improve Grain Quality at the Genetic Level, Improve Agronomic Performance and Enhance Utilization

Location: Grain Quality and Structure Research

Project Number: 3020-43440-001-03-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2015
End Date: Jun 30, 2020

This proposal has 5 major objectives as follows: 1. Development of high throughput methods for measuring grain composition traits to enable increased screening and discovery of valuable end-use quality traits in sorghum populations 2. Characterization and discovery of grain quality traits in mutant populations to enhance the value and discovery of mutant lines for use in improving genetic quality of sorghum 3. Determination of phenolic compounds, anti-oxidant levels, and bioactivity in diverse sorghum populations to support novel and value added utilization of sorghum 4. Assess stability of grain composition and grain quality traits under environmental stress 5. Evaluate grain composition and quality traits in special genetic populations including: a. NAM populations b. conversion and pre-conversion materials c. Breeder’s samples and special research populations

Specific approaches to the objectives are as follows: For objective 1, rapid methods for measuring grain quality will be developed for the following traits: i. Fermentable sugars and starch digestibility: methods will be developed to use a handheld glucometer to rapidly measure sugars released during fermentation and digestion. ii. Protein digestibility: Colorimetric methods will be evaluated for use along with 96 well plate methods for a micro-scale high-throughput assay for protein digestibility iii. Bioactivity of phenolic compounds: Cellular based assays will be evaluated for use in screening sorghum lines with high anti-oxidant potential iv. Feed related traits - Methods for rapid measurement of protein composition will be developed to measure proteins related to feed quality in sorghum. Protein targets will be determined from research using corn and relationships between corn proteins and feed quality attributes.