Prof. David Jordan
Sorghum breeding in the 21st century
Sorghum is a staple crop for half a billion people and a major feed, fodder and emerging biofuel crop. It is predominantly grown as a rain fed crop in a highly diverse range of environments from the tropics to the temperate zones. These environments are typically more marginal cropping environments characterized by extremes of temperature, water limitations, challenging soil environments and high levels of seasonal variability. Globally resources for sorghum crop improvement tend to be limited compared with other crops with the result that genetic improvement in many regions of the world has been low. Climate change is exacerbating both the degree of environmental variability and the intensity of some of the abiotic stresses creating further challenges for sorghum production and improvement. In this presentation I will discuss successful approaches and future opportunities to increase the rate of genetic gain in sorghum through the integrated use of advanced breeding methods including advanced statistics, high throughput phenotyping, crop modelling, genomics.