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Allelic variation at a single gene increases food value in a drought-tolerant staple cereal

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Gilding, E. K., Frere, C. H., Cruickshank, A., Rada, A. K., Prentis, P. J., Mudge, A. M., Mace, E. S., Jordan, D. R. and Godwin, I. D. (2013) Allelic variation at a single gene increases food value in a drought-tolerant staple cereal. Nature Communications, 4 . ISSN 2041-1723

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms2450


The production of adequate agricultural outputs to support the growing human population places great demands on agriculture, especially in light of ever-greater restrictions on input resources. Sorghum is a drought-adapted cereal capable of reliable production where other cereals fail, and thus represents a good candidate to address food security as agricultural inputs of water and arable land grow scarce. A long-standing issue with sorghum grain is that it has an inherently lower digestibility. Here we show that a low-frequency allele type in the starch metabolic gene, pullulanase, is associated with increased digestibility, regardless of genotypic background. We also provide evidence that the beneficial allele type is not associated with deleterious pleiotropic effects in the modern field environment. We argue that increasing the digestibility of an adapted crop is a viable way forward towards addressing food security while maximizing water and land-use efficiency.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:Gilding, Edward K. Frere, Celine H. Cruickshank, Alan Rada, Anna K. Prentis, Peter J. Mudge, Agnieszka M. Mace, Emma S. Jordan, David R. Godwin, Ian D. Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project [LP0986043]; ARC Discovery Project [DP0883808]; Pork Cooperative Research Centre E.K.G. and C.H.F. were supported by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project (LP0986043). C. H. F. was additionally supported by an ARC Discovery Project (DP0883808). C. H. F. and A. M. M. both received support from the Pork Cooperative Research Centre. Nature publishing group London
Keywords:sorghum sorghum-bicolor debranching enzymes rice endosperm climate-change digestibility corn pullulanase sweet biosynthesis security
Subjects:Plant culture > Food crops
Plant culture > Field crops > Sorghum
Live Archive:15 Oct 2013 04:58
Last Modified:13 Sep 2022 06:09

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