Crop Biotech Update

Purdue University Scientists to Develop Genomic Tools to Improve Sorghum

February 13, 2013

Purdue University scientists will develop genomic tools needed to improve sorghum, one of Africa's important food crops. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will cover the project's first three years, which will be led by Purdue Professor Mitch Tuinstra. The project will identify sorghum gene functions, especially those important in crop yield, protein and starch digestion, and resistance to the parasitic weed Striga.

Tuinstra's team will analyze a collection of mutants created from the sorghum variety that has had its genome sequenced. From the collection, they can determine the genes for the physical attributes seen in the mutants. When genes and traits are matched, they can begin designing plants with desired characteristics.

For more information about this project, read the news release at