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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 13 No. 5, p. 535-539
    Received: July 9, 1973
    Published: Sept, 1973



High Lysine Mutant Gene (hl that Improves Protein Quality and Biological Value of Grain Sorghum1

  1. Rameshwar Singh and
  2. John D. Axtell2



Seeds from over 9,000 lines in the world sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] collection were classified for endosperm phenotype to identify floury endosperm lines and evaluate each for potential increases in lysine concentration. Sixty-two floury endosperm lines were selected and analyzed for protein and lysine composition. Two floury lines of Ethiopian origin, IS 11167 and IS 11758, were exceptionally high in lysine at relatively high levels of protein.

The average whole grain lysine concentration of high lysine lines IS 11167 and IS 11758 was 3.34 and 3.13 (g/lOOg protein) at 15.7 and 17.2% protein, respectively. Both lines were also high in percent oil. Carbohydrate analyses of whole grain samples of the two high lysine lines were similar to that of normal sorghum grain except for a twofold increase in sucrose concentration.

The high lysine gene altered the amino acid pattern in hl hl hl endosperm tissue relative to normal endosperm checks. The major changes were increased lysine, arginine, aspartic acid, glycine, and tryptophan concentrations and decreased amounts of glutamic acid, proline, alanine, and leucine in the hl hl hl endosperm.

Inheritance studies suggest that the increased lysine concentration of each line is controlled by a single recessive gene, although it is not known whether the genes from both lines are allelic. The high lysine gene(s) present in IS 11167 and IS 11758 from Ethiopia is (are) herein designated as hl. The endosperm of kernels homozygous for the hl gene is partially dented.

The biological value of the high lysine lines was much higher than that of average sorghum lines. In a 28-day isonitrogenous feeding experiment the weight gain of weanling rats was three times higher on an IS 11758 ration and twice as high on an IS 11167 ration as weight gains on rations prepared from normal sorghum lines. When fed rations without any dilution except the usual 2% vitamin and 4% mineral supplementation, rats gained 94 g on high lysine sorghum (IS 11758) and 28.5 g on our current best nutritional quality sorghum line (IS 2319), versus 91.5 g on opaque-2 corn (Zea mays L.) and 30.2 g on normal corn in a 28-day feeding trial. Feed efficiency ratios for this trial were 3.0 for high lysine sorghum, 6.8 for IS 2319, 3.4 for opaque-2 corn, and 7.4 for normal corn.

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