Crop Biotech Update

Found: Gene that Boosts Digestibility of Sorghum

February 13, 2013

Agricultural scientists in Australia have found a gene that boosts the digestibility of sorghum. The scientists said that they have identified a tiny variant in a gene which controls the enzyme pullulanase that helps to break down starch in sorghum, making it more digestible. The research team's next step would be cross-breeding commonly grown sorghum strains with the variety that has the genetic variant to boost the crop's value as a food source.

Sorghum is a tough cereal grown in dry areas of Africa, Asia, and North America. It is drought tolerant but ranks lower than rice, corn, and wheat as food because the human digestive system cannot absorb many of its calories.

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