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Theor Appl Genet. 2006 Sep;113(5):931-42. Epub 2006 Jul 18.

Inheritance of inflorescence architecture in sorghum.

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Institute for Genomic Diversity, Cornell University, 158 Biotechnology Building, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


The grass inflorescence is the primary food source for humanity, and has been repeatedly shaped by human selection during the domestication of different cereal crops. Of all major cultivated cereals, sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] shows the most striking variation in inflorescence architecture traits such as branch number and branch length, but the genetic basis of this variation is little understood. To study the inheritance of inflorescence architecture in sorghum, 119 recombinant inbred lines from an elite by exotic cross were grown in three environments and measured for 15 traits, including primary, secondary, and tertiary inflorescence branching. Eight characterized genes that are known to control inflorescence architecture in maize (Zea mays L.) and other grasses were mapped in sorghum. Two of these candidate genes, Dw3 and the sorghum ortholog of ramosa2, co-localized precisely with QTL of large effect for relevant traits. These results demonstrate the feasibility of using genomic and mutant resources from maize and rice (Oryza sativa L.) to investigate the inheritance of complex traits in related cereals.

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