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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet

Enabling Marker Assisted Selection for Sorghum Disease Resistance in Senegal and Niger

Lead institution: Texas A&M University
Award amount: $899,853
Focus country: Niger, Senegal

Disease identification

Principal investigator: Dr. Clint Magill
U.S. collaborating institution: Texas A&M University, USDA-ARS
International collaborating institutions: Senegal - Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA), Centre d’Etudes Régional pour l’Amélioration de l’Adaptation à la Sécheresse (CERAAS); Niger - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN), University of Tillaberi

Research collaboration between Texas A&M, INRAN, and ISRA, extended to include researchers at nearby Universities in Niger and Senegal will result in the identification or creation of disease resistant, locally adapted, sorghum cultivars that maintain properties preferred by farmers and consumers alike. Target diseases are anthracnose and long smut in Niger and anthracnose and grain mold in Senegal. The cultivar creation aspect will be derived from the ability to track resistance genes or quantitative trait loci (QTLs) with DNA-based tags that can be economically scored, in-country, through the development of allele-specific PCR primers at TAMU. Marker tagging will use Genome Wide Association studies to identify Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) derived from sources of genetic resistance identified in each country. F2 or later generation DNA samples from resistant and susceptible progeny of segregating crosses will identify markers associated with disease response. This technology will enable breeders to take advantage of marker assisted selection to greatly speed the development of cultivars with resistance to new races of the pathogens that are certain to occur over time. Publications in scientific journals will inform other scientists interested in sorghum pathology and genomics while demonstrations and interactions with local farmers unions, including sorghum growers, will showcase the value of growing disease resistant cultivars.

For more information about the project, contact:

Dr. Clint Magill, Professor
Texas A&M University
202H LF Peterson
496 Olsen Blvd.
2132 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-2132
+1-979-845-8250
c-magill@tamu.edu