Gene effects and heterosis for grain iron and zinc concentration in sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]

Ashok Kumar, A and Reddy, B V S and Ramaiah, B and Sahrawat, K L and Pfeiffer, W H (2013) Gene effects and heterosis for grain iron and zinc concentration in sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]. Field Crops Research, 146. pp. 86-95. ISSN 0378-4290

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The aim of this study was to understand the inheritance of grain iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) concentrations in sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] and to assess the possibility of exploiting heterosis to improve these micronutrients. Three sets of full diallel crosses were made, one set using five parents contrasting for both grain Fe and Zn concentrations; the second set using six parents contrasting only for Fe, and the third set with four parents contrasting only for Zn. The crosses and parents were evaluated in replicated trials for two years. The results indicated that both additive and non-additive gene action play a role in conditioning grain Fe and Zn concentration in sorghum. However, non-additive gene action is predominant in conditioning grain Fe; and additive gene action in conditioning grain Zn. Some of the crosses showed significant heterosis for grain Fe concentration without yield penalty and some crosses showed targeted grain Zn concentration (40 mg kg−1) coupled with higher grain yields. The results also showed that it is possible to improve grain Fe concentration through exploiting heterosis, but there would be little opportunity if any for improving grain Zn through heterosis breeding. To develop hybrids with high grain Fe and Zn concentration in sorghum both parents needs to be improved for these micronutrients. Combining higher grain Fe and Zn with high yield is feasible.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: RP-Dryland Cereals
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sorghum; Biofortification; Grain iron and zinc concentrations; Combining ability; Gene action; Heterosis
Subjects: Mandate crops > Sorghum
Depositing User: Mr Sanat Kumar Behera
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2013 05:48
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2016 08:50
Official URL:
Projects: HarvestPlus Challenge Program
Funders: Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research
Acknowledgement: Funding support from the HarvestPlus Challenge Program of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in carrying out this work is gratefully acknowledged. Thanks are also due to Dr HD Upadhyaya (ICRISAT) for supplying the germplasm lines used in this study and to Dr Abhishek Rathore and Mr Anil Kumar (ICRISAT) for their help in statistical analysis.
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