Evaluation and heritability of ergot resistance derived from sorghum germplasm IS8525.



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Texas A&M University


Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor [L.] Moench) is fifth among the major cereal crops in the world in terms of production area and total production. Grain sorghum can be successfully produced in a wide range of environments, its productivity is severely limited by pathogens, insects and abiotic stresses. One of these pathogens is Claviceps africana Frederickson Mantle & de Milliano, commonly known as ergot. As is the case with many sorghum diseases, the best long term approach to control ergot may be the use of genetic resistance. There is limited information about resistance to C. africana in sorghum, and the reported resistance in most lines is fertility-based. Dahlberg (1999) first reported the line IS8525 to have the most tolerance to ergot of any of the accessions screened in Puerto Rico. The specific objectives of this research are: (1) to confirm the presence of C. africana resistance in IS8525 germplasm, (2) to determine if the resistance in IS8525 is pollen mediated or ovule based, and (3) to determine if the resistance in IS8525 is heritable and stable across environments. Ergot vulnerability ratings were determined for two recombinant inbred line populations, IS8525D and IS8525J, in four locations during 2001. Also, ergot vulnerability ratings were evaluated in four test-cross populations (using as testers A3Tx623 and A3Tx623) in two locations. Evaluations of the original parents indicate that ergot tolerance in IS8525D parent was consistently better than that in IS8525J parent. As expected, neither parent provided complete resistance. The IS8525J recombinant inbred line population showed significantly more ergot susceptibility than the IS8525D recombinant inbred line population and this trend was consistent across environments. Variation for ergot vulnerability amo ng recombinant inbred lines for both populations was detected, but the amount of variability was environment dependent. In the testcross hybrids, all four populations were susceptible to ergot, primarily due to male sterility in the hybrids, confirming that the tolerance shown in IS8525 germplasm is mostly pollen mediated. However, a greater level of tolerance in the IS8525 hybrid checks confirmed the reports of tolerance by Dahlberg et al. (1998) and Reed et al. (2002).