Breeding of Sorghum bicolor hybrids for improved biomass and biogas yield
My research covers various aspects of adaptation and breeding of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), an originally tropical plant, as a novel bioenergy and fodder crop in temperate Europe. Thanks to its diabrotica resistance, drought tolerance and nutrient efficiency, sorghum is a promising alternative to maize. However, several aspects such as chilling tolerance, maturity, energy density and yield stability need to be enhanced to make it fully competitive.
Approaches on applied breeding comprise the design of novel ideotypes for biogas generation with an enhanced energy density and agronomical properties, and the development of new, adapted base material by directed crosses between suitable lines and subsequent selection. Regarding early-stage chilling tolerance and root development, information about the expression of heterosis in F1-hybrids and the correlation between line per se and hybrid performance are essential for designing appropriate breeding strategies and one focus of my work. Molecular approaches include the genotyping of a broad diversity set (n=470) covering variation for all traits of interest, and the establishment of genetically distinct heterotic pools aiming at an optimal exploitation of heterosis. Extensive phenotyping in both multi-environmental field trials and controlled environment chilling stress experiments facilitate genome-wide association studies (GWAS) towards the development of molecular markers as an ultimate goal.
- Sorghum breeding
- Adaptation of sorghum into temperate areas
- Chilling tolerance
- Root development
- Molecular marker genotyping
- Heterosis for abiotic stress
- Novel sorghum ideotypes for biogas generation
Windpassinger S, Friedt W, Frauen M, Snowdon R, Wittkop B. Designing adapted sorghum silage types with an enhanced energy density for biogas generation in temperate Europe. Biomass Bioenerg 2015; 81: 496-504.
Department of Plant Breeding
IFZ Research Centre for Biosystems, Land Use and Nutrition
Justus- Liebig University
35392 Giessen, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)641 9937443
IFZ Room B323