Research Funded by United Sorghum Checkoff Program Advances Sorghum Breeding Technology

A three-year research collaboration effort between the United Sorghum Checkoff Program and DuPont Pioneer has yielded a major new tool for sorghum improvement.

DuPont Pioneer research scientists, led by Cleve Franks and Tanveer Hussain, discovered two sorghum haploid inducer lines. The first of its kind, these patent-pending inducer lines enable the creation of doubled haploid sorghum, which is the first step to significantly accelerating the sorghum breeding process.

“The development of doubled haploid sorghum capabilities represents a major leap forward in sorghum breeding technology,” said Tim Lust, United Sorghum Checkoff Program CEO. “This technology provides sorghum breeders with a powerful means of developing higher-yielding sorghum hybrids with the technology our growers need, both in the U.S. and abroad.”

The United Sorghum Checkoff Program funded the DuPont Pioneer research as part of a three-year, $800,220 investment. The research, conducted in Texas, Kansas, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Iowa, leveraged the world-class, global breeding programs of DuPont Pioneer.

“The inducer lines discovered by DuPont Pioneer will give sorghum breeders the opportunity to create finished inbred parents in a single step,” said Franks, sorghum research scientist, DuPont Pioneer. “This could accelerate the breeding process by potentially cutting the time required to create new hybrids in half.”

The results and developments from the partnership will be available for out licensing. As one of the top five cereal crops in the world, sorghum can be grown as a grain, forage or sweet crop. The United States is the world's largest producer of grain sorghum, having produced 597 million bushels in 2015. The United Sorghum Checkoff Program partners with both public and private sorghum breeding entities.


DuPont Pioneer is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success®.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit