Agroecology and Biotechnology of Fungal Pathogens of Sorghum and Millet


Project Code:

Start Date:

End Date:

CRSP Phase:
Not Available

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Lead University:

Other Partners:
Collaborative Scientists' Institutions: USGSPA; Texas A&M University, University of Nebraska - Lincoln (US); CENTA (El Salvador); National Dryland Farming Research Center-Katumani (Kenya); UNA (Nicaragua); INIFAP (Mexico)

Principal Investigator(s):
Larry E. Claflin

Co-Principal Investigator(s):


A sorghum growth model was coupled with ergot prediction model developed in South Africa to evaluate ergot potential on a specific maturity genotype at different planting dates in a specific environment. Thirty years (1970-1999) of consecutive climatic data from weather stations in Concordia, Dodge City, Manhattan, Russell, Topeka, and Wichita, Kansas and Grand Island, Nebraska were utilized in the model. Ergot potentials varied among locations primarily due to planting date and/or mean maximum RH during anthesis. Most planting dates recommended for each location would result in limited or no incidence of ergot based on our model. Late planting dates increased the risk of infection.


U.S./Mexico/Nicaragua/El Salvador: Determine the prokaryotic plant pathogenic organisms responsible for unique and unusual diseases of sorghum that may pose yield constraints. These causal agents are primarily insect disseminated and a joint collaborative project has been implemented with project MSU-205. U.S./Kenya: Continue to screen for genetic variability of sorghum germplasm to covered kernel smut and ergot diseases that continually occur and affect the nutrition of people and animals. U.S./Mexico/Nicaragua/El Salvador: Ascertain the prevalence of diseases through surveys and use of the ADIN nursery from Texas A&M University. U.S./Mexico: Collaborate with Mr. Jesus Narro on a bacterial disease project of sorghum in the Bahel region of Mexico. Determine if physiological resistance rather than pollen management is the mechanism for tolerance to Claviceps africana. Continue to evaluate screening protocols for determining genetic variability of grain sorghum to sooty stripe disease (Ramulispora sorghi). Determination of various environmental parameters to maximize incidence and severity of disease will also be included.


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