“iMashilla” A targeted approach to sorghum improvement in moisture stress areas of Ethiopia

To generate step change in the capacity and productivity of sorghum breeding programs in sub-Saharan Africa and to provide a strategic platform (germplasm, tools and information) to underpin genetic gain for productivity in environments that are water limited.

Start Year: 2012

End Year: 2017

Funding Agencies:

- Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)


Fertility Crisis: harnessing the genomic tension behind pollen fertility in sorghum

Hybrid sorghum varieties yield more grain than inbred varieties but the method for producing hybrid seed relies on the production of so called female plants that do not produce pollen via the use of cytoplasmic male sterility which are crossed with male parents that produce pollen and result in the production of fertile hybrid seed. Unfortunately this system is complex and some female plants produce pollen in seed production fields resulting in unsaleable seed.

Start Year: 2013

End Year: 2016

Funding Agencies:

- Australian Research Council (ARC)


Development of Wild Sorghum BCNAM Panels as a Worldwide Resource for Trait Identification and Utilisation

A great proportion of the genetic variation in the species Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench lies unexploited in wild material. Because this material is small-seeded, shattering and possesses other undesirable traits, it is not easy for plant breeders to make use of it particularly in small breeding programs with the primary objective of variety release in the short to medium term. This project will develop two nested BCNAM populations incorporating the variation of at least 10 diverse Crop Wild Relatives (CWRs) which will provide breeders with access to potentially useful wild sorghum genes in backgrounds that are more amenable to use in breeding. In addition the populations will be characterised with molecular markers allowing the location of useful genes to be quickly identified.

Start Year: 2015

End Year: 2018

Funding Agencies:

- Global Crop Diversity Trust (CropTrust)


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