A Genome-Wide Association Study of Nigerien and Senegalese Sorghum Germplasm of Exserohilum turcicum, the Causal Agent of Leaf Blight. Academic Article uri icon


  • In Senegal, sorghum ranks third after millet and maize among dryland cereal production and plays a critical role in the daily lives of millions of inhabitants. Yet, the crop's productivity and profitability are hampered by biotic stresses, including Exserohilum turcicum, causing leaf blight. A total of 101 sorghum accessions collected from Niger and Senegal, SC748-5 and BTx623, were evaluated in three different environments (Kaymor, Kolda, and Ndiaganiao) in Senegal for their reactions against the leaf blight pathogen. The results showed that 11 out of the 101 accessions evaluated exhibited 100% incidence, and the overall mean incidence was 88.4%. Accession N15 had the lowest incidence of 50%. The overall mean severity was 31.6%, while accessions N15, N43, N38, N46, N30, N28, and N23 from Niger recorded the lowest severity levels, ranging from 15.5% to 25.5%. Accession N15 exhibited both low leaf blight incidence and severity, indicating that it may possess genes for resistance to E. turcicum. Also, the accessions evaluated in this study were sequenced. A GWAS identified six novel single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with an average leaf blight incidence rate. The candidate genes were found in chromosomes 2, 3, 5, 8, and 9. Except for SNP locus S05_48064154, all five SNPs associated with the leaf blight incidence rate were associated with the plant defense and stress responses. In conclusion, the candidate genes identified could offer additional options for enhancing plant resistance against E. turcicum through plant breeding or gene editing.

published proceedings

  • Plants (Basel)

author list (cited authors)

  • Prom, L. K., Botkin, J. R., Ahn, E., Sarr, M. P., Diatta, C., Fall, C., & Magill, C. W.

complete list of authors

  • Prom, Louis K||Botkin, Jacob R||Ahn, Ezekiel JS||Sarr, Mame Penda||Diatta, Cyril||Fall, Coumba||Magill, Clint W

publication date

  • November 2023


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