Sorghum gene sequencing may offer crop improvement potential

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Sorghum gene sequencing may offer crop improvement potential

Related tags: Dna, Gene

New genomic sequencing research has shown that sorghum has much more genetic variation than previously believed - paving the way for further breeding and improvement.

The research, published in Nature Communications, used whole-genome sequencing methods to obtain the genomic data of 44 sorghum lines which represent all of the major races of cultivated grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor​)-  in addition to its progenitors and the allopatric Asian species, S. propinquum​.

Led by researchers at The University of Queensland, Australia, the consortium behind the project found that sorghum possesses a diverse primary gene pool, but noted that there is decreased diversity in both landrace and improved groups.

"Crop domestication and genetic improvement are the key points for breeding research,”​ said project manager Shuaishuai Tai, of BGI-Shenzhen, China.

Our joint efforts yield an invaluable genetic resource for researchers to explore sorghum evolution and its genetic improvement."

In addition to S. bicolor​, the team suggested that there is a great untapped pool of diversity also  in S. propinquum​ – while the research provides the first resequenced genome of S. propinquum​.

Related topics: R&D

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