Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Crop Germplasm Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #296537

Title: Mapping and candidate genes associated with saccharification yield in sorghum

item WANG, YI-HONG - University Of Louisiana
item ACHARYA, ANIRUDDHA - University Of Louisiana
item BURRELL, A. MILLIE - Texas A&M University
item Klein, Robert - Bob
item KLEIN, PATRICIA - Texas A&M University
item HASENSTEIN, KARL - University Of Louisiana

Submitted to: Genome
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/21/2013
Publication Date: 10/24/2013
Citation: Wang, Y., Acharya, A., Burrell, A., Klein, R.R., Klein, P.E., Hasenstein, K.H. 2013. Mapping and candidate genes associated with saccharification yield in sorghum. Genome. 56:659-665.

Interpretive Summary: Major advancements in science hinge on the identification of genes controlling plant and animal traits that are critically important to agriculture. Genes are tiny packets of genetic blueprint material that are found inside the cells of all plants and animals and control all of the physical characteristics of these organisms. Our work focuses on improving major grain and biofuel crops and, with gene sequences, the genetic blueprint will be visible and this information can make improving the plants more efficient. This study details the efforts to develop and characterize with genetic markers a collection of sorghum lines and use this information to develop a resource to clone important genes. Characterizing this panel of sorghum lines represents a genetic tool and resource for the sorghum community, and will allow scientists to understand those key features of the genetic blueprint that make sorghum's physical appearance differ from that of other cereals. Information will be primarily used by fellow scientists but the work should ultimately result in better adapted, higher producing crop varieties available to American farmers.

Technical Abstract: Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] is a potentially high-yielding hardy energy crop to produce lignocellulosic biofuels. Saccharification is a process by which hydrolytic enzymes break down lignocellulosic materials to fermentable sugars for biofuel production. Mapping and identifying genes underlying saccharification yield is an important first step to genetically improve the plant for higher biofuel productivity. In this study, we used the sorghum mini core collection and 14,739 single nucleotide polymorphism markers to map saccharification yield. Seven marker loci were shown to associate with the trait and five of these loci were syntenic with regions in the maize genome that contain quantitative trait loci underlying saccharification yield and cell wall component traits. Candidate genes from the seven loci were also identified. Most prominent among those are beta-tubulin and NST1. Beta-tubulin determines the orientation of cellulose microfibrils in plant secondary fiber cell walls and changes in the orientation affects saccharification yield. NST1 is a master transcription factor controlling secondary cell wall biosynthesis in fibers. Manipulating NST1 can dramatically increase saccharification yield.