Biotech Updates

Queensland Researchers Discover Genes for Sorghum Grain Size

September 30, 2021

Dr. Yongfu Tao shows grain size variations in sorghum. Photo Source: Megan Pope

Researchers at The University of Queensland are optimistic the value and versatility of sorghum, one of the world's top crops, will be improved following the discovery of genes that could increase the grain size of the crop.

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) Research Fellow Dr. Yongfu Tao initially mapped the sorghum genome to identify genes associated with grain size, narrowing the search with existing genetic information for rice and maize. Dr. Tao said that they have identified new variants that are capable of doubling grain weight and that these traits are strongly inherited, with genes accounting for as much as 80 percent of the grain size characteristics.

Dr. Tao said 125 regions in the sorghum genome had now been identified where variation in the DNA sequence was associated with grain size and response to environmental conditions. Their analyses included wild relatives of domesticated sorghum and Australian native sorghum.

For more details, read the article in UQ News.

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