Recent Advances in Sorghum Genetic Enhancement Research at ICRISAT uri icon

abstract

  • Sorghum is one of the most important cereal crops widely grown for food, feed, fodder/forage, and fuel in the semi-arid tropics of Asia, Africa, the Americas and Australia. The global sorghum areas remained static as the increased area in Africa compensated the area loss in Asia. Inspite of rapid decline in sorghum area in Asia due to competition from other remunerative crops, sorghum grain production levels have not declined at the same rate owing to adoption of high yielding hybrids. Though impressive gains have been made in improving productivity levels, biotic and abiotic challenges such as shoot fly, stem borer, grain molds, and terminal drought stress continue to haunt the sorghum growers across the world. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the respec-tive national programs are working on genetic enhancement of sorghum for high yield; shoot fly, and grain mold resis-tance, and sweet stalk traits. In addition, research focus at ICRISAT also includes adaptation to postrainy season, ter-minal drought tolerance, and increasing micronutrient contents (Fe and Zn) in grain. Genetic and cytoplasmic diversi-fication of hybrid parents and varieties for key traitsis critical for sustaining the productivity gains. The grain and stover quality requirements of different market segments needs special attention in sorghum improvement research to enhance its market value. This paper analyses the progress made in sorghum improvement research at ICRISAT in partnership with national programs in recent years and the way forward

publication date

  • 2011