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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Griffin, Georgia » Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #207935

Title: Can Sweet Sorghum be used for Biofuel Production?

item Wang, Ming
item Erpelding, John
item Pederson, Gary

Submitted to: American Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/13/2007
Publication Date: 7/18/2007
Citation: Wang, M.L., Erpelding, J.E., Jianming, Y., Pederson, G.A. 2007. Can Sweet Sorghum be used for Biofuel Production? [abstract]. American Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting. P03001, p. 19.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The sweet sorghum germplasm collection (1280 accessions) is maintained at the Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit, Griffin, Georgia. Sweet sorghum contains a high amount of sucrose (2.5% - 13%) that has been used for syrup, molasses, and ethanol production. Furthermore, as a high energy capturing C4 crop, sorghum is well adaptive to many environmental extremes and can easily produce biomass with relatively low inputs. These features make sweet sorghum an ideal crop for biofuel production. However, genetic diversity of the U.S. sweet sorghum collection has never been assessed. Fifty accessions (~5% of the sweet sorghum collection) have been selected and planted in the field. Their sucrose content, brix index and total biomass (converted to gallon of ethanol / per hectare) and other characteristics will be recorded. These accessions will be genetically characterized by a set of 40 DNA markers. We intend to (1) identify accessions with the potential to produce large amounts of ethanol per hectare; (2) classify accessions into clusters; (3) select parents to make crosses for generating segregating populations; and (4) optimize future designs of experiments on marker associations with traits contributing to biofuel production. Acknowledgements: The authors gratefully thank Ms. Merrelyn Spinks for her help searching the GRIN database and Ms. Lee Ann Chalkley and Ms. Tiffany Fields for preparing sorghum seeds.