Quantitative trait loci analysis of endosperm color and carotenoid content in sorghum grain Academic Article uri icon


  • Vitamin A deficiency affects approximately 250 million people in semiarid regions of Africa and Asia, where sorghum (Sorghum bicolor Moench) is a major staple crop. Yellow endosperm sorghums contain carotenoids, some of which can be transformed by humans into vitamin A. Our objective was to study the genetic basis of variation in carotenoid levels in sorghum endosperm by mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with carotenoid content and endosperm color, as a putative predictor of carotenoid concentration. A recombinant inbred line population developed from a yellow ('KS115') by a white endosperm ('Macia') parental cross was evaluated in two locations in 2005. A genetic map was generated using 112 molecular markers including nine carotenoid candidate genes. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and ?-carotene were the major carotenoids identi-fied. Several QTL were detected for each compound as well as for color and total carotenoids. Color was significantly correlated with the levels of all compounds, and color QTL co-localized with carotenoid QTL. For ?-carotene (provitamin A), five QTL were localized on chromosomes 1, 2, and 10. One of them, on chromosome 2, was stable across both environments, had positive additive effects (1.179 and 1.379), explained large proportions of the phenotypic variance (11.6% and 15.15%), and was associated with a new phytoene synthase gene (Psy3). This first report of QTL for carotenoid content in sorghum grain provides a starting point for breeding high-provitamin A sorghums. Crop Science Society of America.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Fernandez, M., Hamblin, M. T., Li, L. i., Rooney, W. L., Tuinstra, M. P., & Kresovich, S.

citation count

  • 62

complete list of authors

  • Fernandez, Maria G Salas||Hamblin, Martha T||Li, Li||Rooney, William L||Tuinstra, Mitchell P||Kresovich, Stephen

publication date

  • September 2008