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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Plant Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #405027

Research Project: Genetic Improvement and Cropping Systems of Alfalfa for Livestock Utilization, Environmental Protection and Soil Health

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: Genome-wide association study of seed morphology traits in Senegalese sorghum cultivars

item Ahn, Ezekiel
item BOTKIN, JACOB - University Of Minnesota
item ELLUR, VISHNUTEJ - Washington State University
item LEE, YOOJUNG - University Of Minnesota
item POUDEL, KABITA - University Of Minnesota
item Prom, Louis
item MAGILL, CLINT - Texas A&M University

Submitted to: Plants
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2023
Publication Date: 6/16/2023
Citation: Ahn, E.J., Botkin, J., Ellur, V., Lee, Y., Poudel, K., Prom, L.K., Magill, C.W. 2023. Genome-wide association study of seed morphology traits in Senegalese sorghum cultivars. Plants. 12(12). Article 2344.

Interpretive Summary: Sorghum is considered the 5th most important crop, supplying the daily needs of millions of people worldwide. Among various populations, sorghum cultivars from West and Central Africa are cultivated in rainy and high-humidity regions and are an important source of genes that confer various important traits. To date, Senegalese cultivars have been extensively tested to identify resistance genes against fungal diseases, but they haven’t been widely studied for other agronomically important traits such as seed morphology. Seed morphology reflects genetic, physiological, and ecological components that affect yield, quality, and market price. In this study, 162 Senegalese cultivars were evaluated for seed morphology-related traits such as area size, length, width, length-to-width ratio, perimeter, circularity, seed color based on brightness, and more. The collected data was linked to genomic data, and statistical analysis was conducted to identify potential sorghum genes related to seed morphology, resulting in successful identifications of candidate genes influencing seed morphology.

Technical Abstract: Sorghum is considered the fifth most important crop in the world. Despite the potential value of Senegalese germplasm for various traits, including seed morphology, they haven’t been extensively studied. In this study, 162 Senegalese germplasms were evaluated for seed area size, length, width, length-to-width ratio, perimeter, circularity, the distance between the intersection of length and width (IS) and center of gravity (CG), and seed darkness and brightness. After phenotyping over 16,000 seeds for the traits, the data were combined with publicly available 193,727 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) throughout the genome to perform Genome-wide association studies regarding the traits. The top candidate SNPs were mapped to the reference sorghum genome, and multiple genes that are potentially associated with seed morphology were identified.