Genetic Improvement of Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench for Improved Productivity, Adaptability, and Quality
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Sorghum (S. bicolor) is an important agronomic crop grown throughout the world. In the U.S., it occupies a critical role in agronomic production systems with value as a grain, forage and energy crop that is enhanced by high water use efficiency, drought tolerance and wide adaptation (Krieg and Lascona, 1990). As water resources for commercial agriculture are becoming more and more limited it is critical that water-use efficient crop production take high priority in agricultural production systems.To meet the needs of the sorghum industry, sorghum improvement will require innovation that fuses traditional approaches with genomic techniques that are now available to sorghum. A combined approach allows the applied improvement program to use new tools to improve efficiency and reduce the time required for development. This projects plans to integrate these approaches to identify and characterize grain and plant traits that are important factors in grain quality and agronomic productivity in sorghum, to assess the utility of high throughput phenotyping using unmanned aerial systems and micro CT for internal sorghum morphology in a sorghum breeding program, to assess the utility of genomic selection in an applied sorghum breeding program, to ttilize the iap mutant to assess gene flow from sorghum to johnsongrass (S. halepense), and to develop high yielding, stress tolerant germplasm and breeding lines that can be used to produce high yielding, high quality, stress tolerant sorghum hybrids.