Fertility Crisis: harnessing the genomic tension behind pollen fertility in sorghum (2013–2016)
Sorghum is the fifth largest cereal crop and a staple food for hundreds of millions of the world¿s poorest people. Hybrid sorghum varieties yield ~30% more conventional varieties and breeders in developed countries exploit cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) and nuclear fertility restoration (Rf) to produce hybrid seed. The genetics of CMS and Rf are poorly understood constraining the progress breeding programs can make.
In developing countries hybrids are rarely used because of the complexity of this system. This project aims to identify the genes controlling these traits and develop tools to improve breeding efficiency in both developed and developing countries.