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Genomic detection and selection of phosphorus efficient Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench

Erick Mikwa

Associated student, JLU

Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench is climate resilient, nutritious and the fifth most important cereal in the world. Despite the recent increase in sorghum production in Europe, its demand in still higher than the supply for the region. To meet this demand there is a need to refocus on sustainable breeding, targeting economically and environment-friendly production. Phosphorus (P) is one of the limiting factors for sorghum production, available to plants in minute concentrations, expensive, limited in rock ore and a major environment polluter. Breeding for P uptake and utilization efficiency especially in sorghum will not only improve crop production but reduce environment pollution. The aim of my study will be to characterize the root and shoot morphological and biochemical adaptations of diverse sorghum genotype to P starvation. A high throughput root phenotyping platform will be utilized to decipher the major root system architecture adapted to P deficiency. The root system will be compared with shoot system in both greenhouse and field experiments and genome wide association mapping will be used to identify significant QTL associated to P deficiency trait a diverse population. The identified root and shoot ideotypes will be recommended for integration in the sorghum breeding programs in Europe and globally.

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