Crop Biotech Update

Tapping Sorghum's Potential for Cold Tolerance

October 24, 2012

The discovery of cold tolerant genes in Chinese sorghum cultivars by United States Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Service Research plant physiologist Gloria Burrow and colleagues in Lubbock Texas has opened doors for the development of cold tolerant sorghum lines in the US. Through molecular marker-aided breeding, cold tolerant Chinese line PI610727 was crossed with a cold-sensitive sorghum variety and produced 171 inbred lines. These lines were released to various research groups for evaluation.

The scientists have also published a genetic map of the 141 genetic markers in the journal Molecular Breeding. Sorghum germplasm evaluation is also being conducted in four locations in Texas, Kansas, and South Dakota. This research will lead to sorghum varieties that would give higher yield even if planted earlier in the spring so as to benefit from the available soil moisture.

For more on this news, check http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2012/121017.htm.