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Crop Biotech Update

Wild Sorghum Offers Toolbox for Climate-Proof Crops

July 21, 2021

Researchers at the Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) Project have developed a much-needed toolkit of previously undescribed genes and traits to help breed more climate-resilient varieties.

A study by a research group in Australia used recent advances in gene sequencing and mapping to develop new sorghum populations using crop wild relatives and local varieties collected from a range of environments across Africa. The different traits of these wild relatives offer potential adaptability to climate change. This new, expansive set of genes and traits from different environments will accelerate and improve the development of new, resilient sorghum varieties adapted to a range of localities and conditions.

"Making this whole range of genes, including those from wild relatives, available to researchers and breeders is a huge accomplishment," says Benjamin Kilian, who manages the CWR Project. "This will ultimately lead to crops that can better stand the pressures caused by climate change, improving food security in many regions across the world."

For more details, read the article in the Crop Trust.

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