Hill, H, Lee, LS & Henry, RJ 2008, ‘Identification of novel starch traits in sorghum’, paper presented to 58th Australian Cereal Chemistry Conference, Gold Coast, Qld., 31 August -4 September.
Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) is the fifth most important cereal grain crop in the world and reportedly feeds over 500 million people on a daily basis in the developing world providing dietary starch, dietary protein and some vitamins and minerals. In the West, it is predominantly used as an animal feed and is increasingly important for ethanol production. Sorghum has the potential to be increasingly important as drought and global warming impact on cereal production. In Australia, sorghum is the 3rd most important cereal grain, after wheat and barley, and is well suited to our hot and dry climate, so has great potential as a summer crop. Similarly on a global scale, sorghum is poised to play a greater role in farming systems as environmental conditions become unfavourable to less robust crops. The aim of this study is to use a reverse genetics approach to detect DNA base changes in three important starch synthesis genes; soluble starch synthase (SSS), granule bound starch synthase (GBSS) and starch branching enzyme (SBE) in a gamma irradiated mutant sorghum (cv. MR 43) population. Results are presented showing DNA sequence variation in the genes of interest. Subsequent research in this project, aims to associate genotypes with changes in starch phenotype.