Development of sorghum germplasm with enhanced drought tolerance and higher grain yield

Project Details

  • Hays Experiment Station
  • $40,000
  • Year: 2009


Project Summary

Sorghum is predominately grown in harsh environments because it is one of the few crops that can be successfully cultivated under these conditions. Improving yield under these conditions will require the development of new germplasm that can withstand these unfavorable conditions. Drought, both pre- and post-flowering is the most common impediment to high yields. Pre-flowering drought limits grain yield by limiting the development of seeds while post-flowering drought leads to lodging and small kernels. In the absence of adding additional water, breeding for increased tolerance to water stress by studying processes linked to plant performance under stress and incorporating new genes is a proven way to increase yield. . In areas of sorghum production where the constraint of limited water is not severe, sorghum must compete with corn and soybean. To do this, sorghum yields must be increased. The utilization of exotic material may lead to new genetic systems that will add to grain yield. In addition, changing the planting management to more closely mimic that of corn needs to be investigated. Developing new germplasm sources that incorporate these traits and which can then be utilized by the seed industry to produce hybrids is essential to increased sorghum production.