Project Details

Identification of micronutrients and vitamin A precursor (ß-carotene) dense-sorghums for better health in Western and Central Africa (WCA) and Central India

Duration: 01/Jan/2010 - 31/Dec/2013

Locations: Western and Central Africa / India

Project contact: A Ashok Kumar

Donor: HarvestPlus Challenge Program/IFPRI-USA

CGIAR Research Program: Dryland Cereals

Previous research at ICRISAT indicated that in the commercial sorghum hybrids grown in India, the grain Fe content was close to 40 ppm with Zn content close to 30 ppm in the best genotype. We attempted Fertifortification too but the exogenous micronutrient fertilization did not increase the grain Fe and Zn contents appreciably, particularly when the nutrients are not limiting in soil. Therefore, sorghum genetic enhancement for grain Fe/Zn contents has been pursued since 2004 with funding support from HarvestPlus. Under this, more than 2200 core germplasm accessions were screened and accessions with >60 ppm Fe and >40 ppm Zn contents were identified and used in the crossing programs to develop transgressive segregants with desired Fe/Zn contents and agronomic traits. Two prominent accessions with high Fe/Zn contents (IS 23680 [Fe 71 ppm and Zn 44 ppm] from Mozambique and IS 26962 [Fe 52 ppm and Zn 47 ppm] from India) and agronomic desirability were identified. While both these lines surpassed the target of 40 ppm Zn, one line showed higher Fe content than the target 60 ppm (IS 23680). In addition, some promising R-lines/varieties (>5) with agronomic eliteness and high grain Fe/ Zn contents were identified. The workplan of this project mainly deals with crop improvement activities for biofortified sorghum product development.

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