Improving postrainy sorghum varieties to meet the growing grain and fodder demand in India

Published on 10 November 2010

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Start Date: 7 July 2008 | End Date: 6 June 2012


Postrainy season (Rabi) sorghum, although grown on residual soil moisture and commonly exposed to terminal drought stress, has an excellent market potential, for its high quality of grain and stover.For Rabi sorghum, genetically improving the efficiency of using stored soil moisture, by maximizing post-anthesis water use and water use efficiency (WUE) to enhance grain filling, is a prime target to maximize grain/stover production and quality. One major objective is to develop single- and multiple-QTLs stay-green introgression isolines, and assess the contributions of each of these QTLs to grain/fodder productivity and grain/fodder quality under both drought-stressed and non-stressed conditions. A second objective is to identify, via crop simulation modeling, the traits contributing to a better use of the soil profile moisture, and assess their putative links to individual stay-green QTLs and potential impact on overall productivity of mixed crop livestock systems of drought-prone areas of India.

Planned outputs of this project is (i) isolines with key stay-green QTLs having higher drought-adaptation and forage quality and better characterized molecular markers to facilitate MAS breeding; (ii) knowledge of traits related to a more efficient soil water use and their effects on yield, strategic knowledge on their relation to key stay-green QTLs, and assessment of their forecasted economic benefits.

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