Wild Sorghums?Their Potential Use in Crop Improvement uri icon


  • Wild relatives of crops, sorghum being no exception, continue toplay a key role in the development of high performing cultivars.Among the 22 species comprising this highly variable genus, onlyone, Sorghum bicolor, is commercially cultivated for food, feed andbioenergy production. The wild sorghums thus offer opportunitiesfor further genetic enhancement of this crop. Profi table utilization ofwild species however demands an inter-disciplinary, multi-prongedapproach to increase the probability of achieving the desired geneticimprovement. To this end, this chapter presents a review of the currentknowledge on (1) biosystematic aspects such as botany, taxonomyand classifi cation, (2) domestication and evolution, including centersof diversity, genetic diversity, chromosome homologies and species/phylogenetic relationships, (3) genetic resources, genepools andconservation perspectives including collections and preservation ofgermplasm, (4) utilization aspects including the specifi c potential ofthe wild species in crop improvement with reference to insect anddisease resistance, yield, grain quality, ecological adaptation, allopatricresistance, and (5) strategies to maximize utilization of wild germplasmresources including direct hybridization, reproductive barriers and theircircumvention, chromosome and physiological manipulation, the gapsbetween hybridization and utilization and molecular interventions.Recent advancements in biotechnology, in particular, are expectedto increase the effi ciency and range of use of these wild sorghumspecies

publication date

  • 2014