Agronomic performance and heterosis of specialty grain sorghum hybrids with a black pericarp
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Specialty food markets are continually interested in food grains with unique attributes and qualities. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relative effects of genotype and environment on the agronomic performance of six black grain sorghum hybrids developed to produce high concentrations of total phenols, condensed tannins and 3-deoxyanthocyanin. These hybrids and a commercial grain sorghum check were evaluated in six Texas environments (three locations and two years). Significant effects due to genotype and environment were detected. Interaction between genotype and environment were also detected but they were smaller in magnitude than the main effects. Compared to the commercial check, the black sorghum hybrids had significantly higher concentrations of phenols, tannins and 3-deoxyanthocyanins across all environments but the grain yield of the best hybrid was only 78 % that of the commercial check. Heterosis for grain yield was detected but phenol, tannin and 3-deoxyanthocyanin concentration did not express high parent heterosis. The results indicate that higher yield is possible in black sorghum hybrids and selection should be effective in improving concentrations of phenols, tannins and 3-deoxyanthocyanin. 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.