A study funded by the United Sorghum Checkoff program accelerates sorghum breeding

Two sorghum haploid inducer lines were discovered following three years of collaboration between the United Sorghum Checkoff program and DuPont Pioneer. A team of scientists led by Cleve Franks and Tanveer Hussain from DuPont Pioneer discovered the first haploid inducer lines in sorghum, which are currently in the process of patenting. It is expected that the two haploid inducer lines will give a significant boost to the breeding of this multi-purpose crop used as grain, forage and sweet crop. According to Tim Lust, CEO of the United Sorghum Checkoff program, “The development of doubled haploid sorghum capabilities represents a major leap forward in sorghum breeding technology,” adding also that “This technology provides sorghum breeders with a powerful means of developing higher-yielding sorghum hybrids with the technology our growers need, both in the U.S. and abroad.” The study was sponsored by the United Sorghum Checkoff program within a three year investment of 800 220 USD. According to Cleve Franks “The inducer lines discovered by DuPont Pioneer will give sorghum breeders the opportunity to create finished inbred parents in a single step,” and “This could accelerate the breeding process by potentially cutting the time required to create new hybrids in half”. Sorghum is one of five major grain crops grown in the world as the US being the leading producer reaching 597 million bushels (about 21 million m3) in 2015. The United Sorghum Checkoff program partners with both private and public breeding organizations.

Sources: Seedquest, Sorghum Checkoff

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