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Sorghum – Stay-green project

Development and evaluation of drought-adapted  sorghum germplasm for Africa and Australia (G4012.01/G7009.04)

The aim of this project is to evaluate sorghum germplasm enriched with stay-green in several African countries in East and West Africa. Phase I (2009–2011) focused on Mali while Phase II (2012–2014)extended beyond Mali to five other countries to also encompass Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger and Sudan.

The project integrates three complementary activities:

  1. Evaluating (in Africa) the material produced in Phase I.
  2. Training (in Australia) in sorghum crop improvement for African scientists, covering breeding, physiology, moleculare markers and bioinformatics, amonth others.
  3. Evaluation of African germplasm for stay-green regions.

Stay-green is a drought-resistance mechanism that allowes sorghum plants to stay relatively alive and to maintain green leaves longer during  post-anthesis (post-flowering) drought. In Australia, the stay-green trait has proven valuable in increasing loding resistance and grain yield.

The project is led by the University of Queensland, Australia, in collaboration with the following partners in the six African countries:

  1. Burkina Faso: Institut de l’environnement et de recherches agricoles (INERA)
  2. Ethiopia: Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR)
  3. Kenya: Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)
  4. Mali: Institut d'économie rurale
  5. Niger: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN)
  6. Sudan: Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC)

For more details, see the sorghum section in our Annual Reports | Project Updates | Project Briefs | Poster Abstracts | Blogs