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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mayaguez, Puerto Rico » Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research » Research » Research Project #434432

Research Project: Enhancement of Sorghum Genetic Diversity for Disease Resistance and Key Agronomic Traits

Location: Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research

2018 Annual Report

1. Phenotype exotic sorghum germplasm for important agronomic traits to identify the most valuable accessions for sorghum breeding programs. 1a. Genetically-characterize sorghum accessions from the West-Central African diversity panel (WCADP). 1b. Phenotypically-characterize highly genetically diverse sorghum accessions from the WCADP. 1c. Phenotypically-characterize accessions from NPGS sweet sorghum germplasm. 2. Identify new sources of anthracnose and grain mold resistance through the evaluation of exotic sorghum germplasm from the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) sorghum germplasm collection for further introgression breeding. 2a. Identify new sources of host-plant resistance to anthracnose in the WCADP. 2b. Identify new sources of host-plant resistance to grain mold in the WCADP.

The focus of this research is to use genotypic and phenotypic characterization of National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) sorghum germplasm to identify new sources of resistance to anthracnose and grain mold in exotic germplam. A total of 396 accessions from West-Central Africa countries will be characterized for host-plant resistance to both diseases followed by genetic characterization through genotype-by-sequence analysis. This information will be combined with phenotypic and genotypic characterization data from sorghum association panels and core subsets from the NPGS Ethiopian and Sudan collections to conduct a large genome wide association analysis. The results will discover new sources of disease resistance and identify novel molecular markers for breeding programs seeking disease resistance. Presently, sweet sorghum varieties utilized as a biofuel source have a narrow genetic base. Therefore, evaluation of sweet sorghum accessions present in the NPGS sorghum collection will be carried out to help to identify new germplasm to broaden genetic variability available for the development of new biofuel varieties of sorghum. For this purpose, a subset of NPGS sweet sorghum germplasm with high Brix values will be characterized for biofuel related traits in conjunction with a subset of the sorghum bioenergy association panel.

Progress Report
This report documents progress for Project Number 6090-21000-058-00D, which started in March 2018 and continues research from Project Number 6090-21000-053-00D, entitled “Evaluation and genetic analyses of sorghum genetic resources for key agronomic traits." The germplasm for the West-Center Africa diversity panel (WCADP) was requested through GRIN-Global and organized for field experiments and to increase seeds for future research experiments.