The breeding of sorghum, Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench, aimed at improving its nutritional quality, is of great interest, since it can be used as a highly nutritive alternative food source and can possibly be cultivated in regions with low rainfall. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the potential and genetic diversity of grain-sorghum hybrids for traits of agronomic and nutritional interest.
Sorghum grain yield can be significantly affected by climatic changes, especially drought and high temperature. The purpose of this study was to evaluate hybrids of grain sorghum grown under normal irrigation conditions or water stress in order to select those likely to be more tolerant of drought. Forty-nine hybrids were grown in a randomized block design experiment, with three replications. The plots consisted of four rows of 5 m length. Grain yield, weight of 1000 grains, harvest index, days to flowering, and plant height were measured.
Sweet sorghum has considerable potential for ethanol production due to its succulent stalks that contain directly fermentable sugars. Since many traits need to be considered in the selection process to breed superior cultivars for ethanol production, then correlations between the traits might be of use to help the breeder define optimal improvement strategies.
Determination of gene expression is an important tool to study biological processes and relies on the quality of the extracted RNA. Changes in gene expression profiles may be directly related to mutations in regulatory DNA sequences or alterations in DNA cytosine methylation, which is an epigenetic mark. Correlation of gene expression with DNA sequence or epigenetic mark polymorphism is often desirable; for this, a robust protocol to isolate high-quality RNA and DNA simultaneously from the same sample is required.