Sorghum Improvement for Semi-Arid Tropics Region : Past Current and Future Research Thrusts in Asia

Reddy, B V S and Stenhouse, J W (1994) Sorghum Improvement for Semi-Arid Tropics Region : Past Current and Future Research Thrusts in Asia. PKV Reserach Journal, 18 (2). pp. 155-169.

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Sorghum Is widely grown in the Semi-Arid Tropics (SAT) for food, feed, fodder arid forage. Although India and Africa represent the major sorghum growing areas, grain yield levels are low compared to those in the developed world. An attempt Is made to summarize the relevant research thrusts that have implications on Improving sorghum genetically. The cultivated taxa, Sorghum bico lo r (L.) Moench with 2n = 20 were evolved and domesticated in North Eastern Africa. Based on spikelet characters, they are grouped into five racescaudatum, guinea, kafir, durra and bicolor and ten hybrid races. The cultivated forms probably arose from S. verticihiflorum. Nearly 35000 landraces collected from 87 countries are being maintained at ICRISAT Asia Center, Hyderabad, India. - Initial attempts to breed sorghum were in understanding inheritance of several morphological traits based on mendelian factors and breeding for specific adaptation. The establishment of All India Coordinated Sorghum Improvement Project in 1970, and International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics with sorghum as one of its mandate crop in 1972 and the initiation of conversion program in USA in early part of 1960s demonstrated that wide adaptability and high yield can be combined and also produced materials which contributed well to several national programs in the SAT. Recurrent selection methods adopted with the help of genetic male sterile genes were not as effective as pedigree/backcross methods to achieve high yield. Discovery of genetic-cytoplasmic male sterility in 1954 enabled hybrid seed production cost effective, and it was established soon that hybrids were superior to varieties across all ranges of environments. Several high yielding hybrids were produced and released. Soon, lack of resistance to various yield constraints was recognized. Current research portfolios involve breeding of male-sterile and restorer lines in diversified cytoplasmic background for resistance to various yield constraints with high grain fodder yield. The goal is to produce high yielding resistant cultivars. Future strategies of sorghum improvement for SAT is encoded in ICRISAT's Medium Term Plan which recognized a total of 29 production systems, five adaptation zones, and a multidisciplinary research strategy of producing high yielding resistant parents, and developing integrated pest, diseases, soil and water management methods.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Others > Semi-Arid Tropics
Mandate crops > Sorghum
Others > Asia
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2013 05:53
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 09:53
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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