Potential of Wild relatives in Sorghum Improvement through Molecular Approaches uri icon


  • Wild relatives of crops play a key role in the development of high performing cultivars. Of the 22 speciescomprising the highly variable genus, Sorghum, only one, S. bicolor, is commercially cultivated for food,feed, and bioenergy production. Profitable utilization of wild species however, demands an interdisciplinary,multi-pronged approach to increase the probability of achieving the desired geneticimprovement. In the past, plant breeders selected breeding material based on morphologicalcharacteristics that were readily observable and co-inherited with the desired traits. However, acombination of morphological and molecular analyses on large samples and smaller samples, respectively,would maximize both information and usefulness. Molecular diversity data can potentially bridgeconservation and use when employed as a tool for mining germplasm collections for genomic regionsassociated with adaptive or agronomically-important traits (i.e., genes that have been important inadaptation to local environments or are associated with phenotypes selected by farmers or breeders. Forsorghum, which is constrained by over 40 diseases and 150 insect pests, host plant resistance offers aneffective, economical and environment friendly method of pest/pathogen control since it does not involveany additional investments by the resource poor farmers

publication date

  • 2016