Introgression of QTLs for Drought Tolerance into Farmers’ Preferred Sorghum Varieties

Sorghum is a major staple food crop for the people in semi-arid areas of Africa and Asia. Post-flowering drought is a global constraint of sorghum production. The study aimed to improve stay-green (STG) characteristics of farmer-preferred sorghum varieties in Tanzania using marker-assisted backcrossing. A total of 752 individuals representing five BC2F1 populations and their parents were genotyped using previously reported KASP markers linked with STG 3A and STG 3B quantitative trait loci (QTL). In the BC2F1 populations, the maximum number of individuals with heterozygous alleles were observed in S35*Pato background (37) whereas only seven individuals derived from the B35*Wahi parents’ background contained heterozygous alleles. Of the 30 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, favourable alleles were observed at 18 loci in BC2F1 populations. In the BC2F1 generation, the highest (0.127 kg/panicle) grain yield was observed in the B35*NACO Mtama 1 background population. The genotypic analysis revealed the presence of favourable alleles in homozygous conditions at markers loci associated with STG 3A and STG 3B QTLs in BC2F3 populations, suggesting successful introgression of STG QTLs from the donor parents to the recurrent parents. Across water irrigation regimes, the highest (0.068 kg/panicle) mean grain weight was observed in the genotype NA316C. Therefore, our study demonstrated the utility of marker-assisted backcrossing for drought tolerance improvement of locally adapted sorghum varieties in Africa.
Agriculture, Volume 11, Issue 9
STG, post-flowering drought tolerance, genotyping, single nucleotide polymorphism, marker-assisted selection, Tileye Feyissa, Santosh Deshpande, Ana Luísa Garcia-Oliveira, Rajaguru Bohar, Milcah Kigoni, Pangirayi Tongoona