Sorghum (DSR)

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Achievements of Sorghum (DSR) during X plan

Sweet sorghum and biomass energy improvement

Sorghum genetic resources management


  • SPH 1290 an early high yielding kharif hybrid was developed and released as CSH 23 for the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat). This hybrid matures early (103 days) and is relatively less susceptible to shoot fly, stem borer and grain mold compared to the checks.
  • Another promising dual-purpose kharif variety SPV 1616 was developed and released as CSV 20 for the states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and parts of Gujarat. It has distinct superiority in fodder yield.
  • The first ever sweet sorghum hybrid NSSH 104 was developed at PDSR and released as CSH 22 SS on all India basis. This hybrid is having good cane and juice yield.
  • Developed and identified number of restorers on A2 cytoplasm. They restored full fertility in F1 crosses. Out of them four restorer lines i.e., RS CN 2103, RS CN 2117, RS CN 2118 and Indore 12 were restores across the seasons.
  • Inheritance of grain size, shape and luster trait was worked out in crosses with 463B and AKMS 14B and a germplasm line, IS17600. Generation mean analysis and the frequency distribution studies revealed that dominant genes polygenic in nature govern the grain size, and also predominance of dominance and epistatic interactions was prevalent. Segregation pattern in F2 and BC1 showed that the round grain trait is governed by a single dominant gene, and grain luster by two recessive complementary genes
  • Identified new germplasm lines with better yield attributes and combining ability. Combining ability studies showed IS 10466 and IS 2853 to be good combiners for panicle length, IS 2853 for panicle width and primary branch length, and IS 79 for number of seed /primary branch. IS 375 is the best combiner for grain yield. IS 606,
  • IS 472, and CS 3541 are good combiners for Panicle weight, seed weight, and number of seed per primary branch. IS 2300 and CS 3541 are good combiners for number of secondary branches/primary branch and total number of secondary branches, and IS 10466 is good combiner for total number of whorls.
  • Developed superior MS lines for grain mould tolerance and MS 200, MS 208, MS 218, MS 230, MS 240, MS 270, and MS 418 recorded grain mould score of 2.83 to 3.13 as against 4.0 of susceptible check, 296B
  • An early high yielding hybrid SPH 1290 developed by our group has been released as CSH 23 for kharif season for the Zones 2 and 3 during 2005. This hybrid matures early (103 days) and is superior to the early checks, CSH 14 and CSH 17 for grain and fodder yields. It is also relatively less susceptible to shoot fly, stem borer and grain mold compared to the checks.
  • Another promising dual-purpose kharif variety SPV 1616 developed by us has been identified for release for zones I and II in 2005 and release proposal had been submitted to CVRC.
  • Developed and shared 418 F3 progenies (Individual Plant Selections from F2 harvest) of dual purpose x drought/ brown midrib crosses with the breeders from AICSIP, Coimbatore, AICSIP, Udaipur and IGFRI, Jhansi for their further evaluation and selection.
  • Worked out the combining ability of the shoot fly resistant sources under the project on pre-breeding for insect resistance. The resistant source, IS 18551 was found to be a poor combiner for shoot fly resistance and associated traits. SFCR 1047, a moderately resistant line was found to be the best combiner for shoot fly resistance and associated traits.
  • Under the NATP project on “Total grain quality management of kharif sorghum” six technologies viz., Identification of cultivars with superior grain quality among released genotypes; harvesting at physiological maturity and artificial drying; treating the harvested produce with anti-heating chemicals to retain grain quality; pearling of grain to improve marketability of the deteriorated grain; identification of grain mould tolerant genotypes; and Solarization to improve storability of the grain from rainy season, were developed to improve the kharif grain quality and on-farm demonstrations were carried out
  • A dual purpose kharif hybrid, SPH 1148 performed well in the AICSIP trials for four years i.e. from 1998 to 2001. On average it showed 6% improvement for grain yield and 14% for fodder yield over CSH
  • Over CSH 18, the improvement was 17% (grain yield) and 10% (fodder yield).

  • A total of 4913 accessions are collected by PDSR from different parts of the country, NBPGR, and ICRISAT.
  • 6136 accessions are evaluated for various agro-morphological, biotic & abiotic stresses and identified 718 potential donors for different agro-morphological traits.
  • Multiplied 8245 accessions. 20,812 accessions conserved at medium-term storage and 9298 accessions submitted to the National Genebank (NGB), NBPGR, for long-term storage.


  • Identified one transgenic event (M35-1) produced through Agrobacterium mediated genetic transformation using Cry1Ac gene constructs as promising to stemborer in terms of less leaf feeding (20%), larval mortality (100%) and no deadheart formation as compared to non-transformed control plants with 80% leaf feeding and 100% larval survival and 100% deadhearts.
  • Identified 4 transgenic events (CS 3541 and 296B) produced through particle bombardment method using the Bt gene construct Cry1B as resistant to stemborer in terms of 80% larval mortality, minimum leaf damage of 33% and significant reduction in larval weights. These events were found positive for quantitative (ELISA) assays. Quantity of Bt protein present in 1g of fresh leaf tissue ranged from 140 to 173.3 ng.
  • Identified 7 Recombinant inbred lines (RILs) (F7) from the mapping population 296B (S) x IS 18551 ® (20% deadhearts) stable for shoot fly tolerance for 2 kharif (2004 & 2005) and 2 rabi seasons (2003 & 2004) interms of glossiness, seedling vigour, trichomes, antixenosis and deadheart formation. The RIL population showed normal distribution for these traits.
  • Identified the role of trichome type in imparting resistance to shoot fly. The Unicellular trichomes (pointed) confers resistance and the bicellular confers susceptibility to shoot fly.
  • Preliminary studies on the efficacy of harpin (as induced resistant) showed relatively lower damage than untreated sorghum (Project: Bio-intensive approaches for disease and nutrient management in sorghum).
  • Associa ted with breeding in evaluating RILs for shoot fly. Evaluated shoot fly infestation at 14, 21 and 28 DAE on shoot fly dead hearts (%), glossiness, and sampled fifth leaf for trichome study.


  • Studies on epidemiology & Biological control of sorghum grain molds revealed that the bio-agents Pseudomonas florescence, Trichoderma viride and T. harzinum were found effective against the pathogens Fusarium moniliforme, Curvularia lunata and Alternaria alternata with higher percentage growth inhibition.
  • The bio-agents P. flouresence and T. viride when treated with grain molds infected seed were found to enhance the germination up to 87% and 84% respectively where as in control it was only 40%.
  • Studies on isolation and testing of new isolates for antagonistic and PGPR efficacy to improve the stalk rot resistance, enabled to identify 5 new chitinolyticbacteria from newly collected soil samples from (Dharwad, Bijapur and Hyderabad) that cause lysis of fungal cell and deformed sclerotial formation.
  • Demonstrated that Macrophomina phaseolina causing charcoal rot in sorghum in Indian are narrow in genetic diversity. Majority of the isolates (>65%) are deficient in nitrate reductase (NR-) activity and highly inefficient in utilizing nitrate as sole source of nitrogen. This is one of the reasons for variations to charcoal rot reactions by isolates. Disease ratings expressed by NR+ isolates, in general, is more than the NR- isolates.
  • Determined the anatomical characters of sorghum stalks that influence charcoal rot resistance. During grain filling stage rotting is influenced by number, diameter and density of vascular bundles. During maturity stalk-anatomy play lesser role and the physiological conditions of stalk play greater role. A combination of anatomical, physiological and biochemical factors of stalk determine the quantum of rotting under a given set of pathogen and environmental conditions. The vascular bundle density is a quite stable character over environment and can be an indicator to evaluate genotype for resistance to charcoal rot.
  • Identified the most crucial epidemiological factor (relative humidity) for chlorotic stripe virus development in sorghum and suggested sowing in mid-October to reduce the incidence of this disease during Rabi season. Identified highly susceptible growth stages for this disease (between 36 to 65 days after emergence) and correlated the disease incidence with yield losses.

Seed Technology

  • Standardized seed production technologies for sorghum at actual sites of seed production and cold tolerant lines identified, apart from standardization of reproducible seed vigour tests.
  • Developed seed coloring technique and color standards for incorporation in seed processing by the seed industry in India for sorghum, other cereals, pulses, oilseeds and vegetables.
  • For the first time techniques for the Production and Inoculation, iterative germination of Secondary Conidia of Sorghum Ergot (Claviceps africana), a seed limiting disease, were developed and standardized, including information on Influence of temperature and RH on pollen traits and ergot severity in sorghum.
  • New information on, cultural characterization, sclerotial viability, Ecological threshold limits governing ergot incidence and severity including its natura l/ secondary spread have been characterized and quantified.


  • Developed stem borer resistant transgenic sorghum plants through Bt technology.
  • Developed genetic transformation technology to suit the needs of Indian sorghum genotypes.
  • Set up and devised the molecular protocols like, Non-radioactive Southern, Western and ELISA for transgenic Bt sorghum plants
  • Sorghum transgenics were developed with Cry1B and Cry1Ac genes for stem borer resistance.
  • Standardized the Invitro screening procedure for development of sorghum transgenics for improved salinity tolerance using NaCl.
  • Developed 100 new sorghum EST-SSR and 50 stay green markers.
  • Charcoal rot resistant lines CRR 113 and CRR 117 were developed combining the techniques of in vitro mutagenesis, in vitro selection and in vitro screening.
  • Transgenic sorghum with gene construct pCAMBIA 1304 carrying Cry1A(c) was produced and a total of 8 plants were tested positive using hygromycin reporter gene.
  • Using the 1Ax1 gene of wheat which produces glutenin that imparts elastic properties of dough, and with multiple shooting method, transformants were obtained. Collaborated in creating a fusion gene for agroinfection method and conducted khafirin and 1Ax1 gene identification by PAGE and mixograph studies on sorghum dough.

Physiology & Sweet sorghum

  • Screening procedure for midseason drought i e. increasing population density than normal as test for drought tolerance has been tested and perfected. In stover yield, variety PVK 809 has distinct superiority of 37% over hybrid CSH 18. Hybrids were superior in grain yield by 37%, while, varieties produced 19% more biomass under kharif mid-season drought conditions.
  • Genotypes which did not show leaf folding at the end of 25 day dry spell include: Indore 12, SPH 1148, CSH 16, 27B, PVK 809, and local (Y 75).Theses entries were characterized as midseason drought tolerance type for kharif light soil areas. Growth and development of Indian tropical sorghum were characterized on 0 to 9 schemes of Vanderlip and Reeves (1972). The work has been published as transfer of technical bulletin.
  • Evaluated and identified 50 promising sweet sorghum genotypes for stalk yields, biomass, bagasse quality characteristics and ethanol potential at several agro-ecological zones.


  • Genetic linkage map of 296B x IS18551 cross constructed using 120 SSR markers. QTLs for shoot fly tolerance traits (seedling vigour, glossiness, trichome density, oviposition and deadhearts) identified for use in marker-assisted improvement of elite sorghum genotypes for shoot fly tolerance.
  • Awarded BOYSCAST fellowship by Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India for undertake post-doc. Studies on Molecular markers and QTL analysis of stay green trait in sorghum for a period of 12 months at Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Aberystwyth, UK.


  • Contributed for drafting Vision 2025 AD and medium term R&D perspective for sorghum production in India
  • Demand estimation of Alternate uses of sorghum for 2010 based on huge Industrial survey on alternate utilization of sorghum across India.
  • Expert meeting on alternate uses of sorghum and pearl millet in Asia: ICRISAT and CFC: International consultancy was offered


  • Through frontline demonstrations, new sorghum production technologies and new cultivars popularized in major sorghum growing regions of India
  • The new sorghum cultivars introduced in new areas in the state of Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir and in the North east.
  • New food products and value added products popularized through linkages with bakeries and other food industry agencies.

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Updated on 10 April 2019| Disclaimer | Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) - Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR).