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

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Feed the Future

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Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab

Kansas State University
148 Waters Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506


Sorghum trait development pipeline for improved food and feed value

Lead institution: Purdue University
Award amount: $1,044,323
Focus country: Niger, Senegal

Tuinstra's research

Principal investigator: Dr. Mitchell Tuinstra
U.S. collaborating institution: Purdue University
International collaborating institutions: Senegal - Institut de Technologie Alimentaire (ITA), CERAAS, ISRA, CNRA; Niger - INRAN

Some of the most important regional research issues highlighted by scientists in Niger and Senegal as related to sorghum include the need to develop locally-adapted guinea and non-guinea sorghum varieties and hybrids with improved grain quality characteristics. This project leverages new genetic technologies to address these sorghum crop improvement needs through targeted research, short- and long-term training and education, and technology transfer to promote and enhance sorghum production and impact.

The genetic research and technology transfer in this project makes use of the sorghum genome sequence and a proven population of sequence-indexed mutants as tools to identify and characterize allelic variation in genes that influence four specific grain quality traits, which include protein digestibility, reduced phytic acid content to improve iron bioavailability, modified starch composition, and designer starches with altered gelatinization temperatures. Collaborators in West Africa are conducting research to target modification of grain protein digestibility and forage quality. Those alleles that condition improved end-use value will then be incorporated into locally adapated cultivars and hybrids.

The project's training activities will strengthen sorghum breeding programs across the region and contribute to capacity building in host-country programs while germplasm-enhancement activities will result in technology transfer that contributes to the development of sorghum varieties and hybrids with enhanced food- and feed-quality traits. Farmer participation in evaluation and selection of these varieties will promote acceptance and projection of new cultivars and the increased production of high-quality grains will stimulate and support development of new markets.

Project details

For more information about the project, contact:

Mitchell TuinstraDr. Mitchell Tuinstra, Professor
Purdue University
Lilly 2-339 - Department of Agronomy
West Lafayette, IN 47907