Biotech Updates

Researchers Map the Location of Major Effect Genes in Sorghum

July 9, 2010

Major effect genes are used by sorghum breeders and researchers for germplasm identification, for diversity analyses and as selection targets. However, only a small number of morphological characters have been mapped as major effect genes in genetic linkage maps using various kinds of molecular markers in sorghum. Thus, E. S. Mace and D. R. Jordan of Australia's Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation conducted a study to consolidate all previously mapped major effect genes onto a complete genome map which is coupled with the whole genome sequence of sorghum. Various linkages between major effect genes and complex genes were discovered such as the linkage of aluminum tolerance gene, the awn gene, and the genetic male sterility gene.

This genome map can be used by sorghum breeders and researchers in studying simple to complex traits and to be aware of the consequences of selecting major effect genes. Furthermore, they could also develop better breeding techniques.

The abstract and the original paper (for subscribers of Theoretical and Applied Genetics journal only) of this study is available at