Project Details

Arresting the scourge of Striga on sorghum in Africa by combining the strengths of marker-assisted backcrossing and farmer-participatory selection

Duration: 01/Apr/2004 - 30/Sep/2008

Locations: Eastern and Southern Africa

The overall aim of the project is to increase household food security in sorghum growing areas of Eritrea, Kenya, Mali and Sudan that are highly infested with the parasitic weed Striga hermonthica. NARS in the four countries are being assisted to strengthen Striga resistance of farmer-preferred sorghum varieties, through a combination of marker-assisted backcrossing (MAB) and farmer-participatory selection (FPSV). The stability of inheritance of the transferred Striga resistance alleles in the FPSVs, the actual outcrossing rates in selected FPSVs and the pollen flow of these FPSVs will be analyzed in order to develop recommendation for variety maintenance and on-farm seed production. Also included is a socio-economic and population genetics study of the sorghum seed supply systems in the four target countries to guide the design of effective seed interventions by partner institutions so that improved materials efficiently reach farmers.

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