Tripling the number of grains in sorghum and perhaps other staple crops

ScienceDaily | 2/26/2018 | Staff
Matty123 (Posted by) Level 3
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Doreen Ware, Ph.D., a CSHL Adjunct Associate Professor and research scientist with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), led the research, together with ARS colleague Zhanguo Xin, Ph.D. Their study was focused on high-yield strains of sorghum that were generated several years ago by Dr. Xin. An unknown genetic mutation introduced by chemical mutagenesis -- a method used for many decades by breeders and researchers to induce genetic variations in plants -- resulted in an increase in the number of grains, i.e., seeds contained within fruits, that each plant produced.

Like many cereal crops, sorghum's grains are produced in clusters of flowers that develop from an elaborately branched structure at the top of the plant called a panicle. Each panicle can produce hundreds of flowers. There are two types of flowers, and usually only one of these, known as the sessile spikelet (SS), is fertile. The other flower type, called pedicellate spikelets (PS), do not make seeds. In the modified plants Dr. Xin produced, however, both sessile and pedicellate spikelets produced seeds, tripling each plant's grain number.

Ware - Team

Ware and her team wanted to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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