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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 46 No. 3, p. 1371-1376
    Received: Aug 25, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): cfranks@lbk.ars.usda.gov
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A Comparison of U.S. and Chinese Sorghum Germplasm for Early Season Cold Tolerance

  1. Cleve D. Franks *,
  2. Gloria B. Burow and
  3. John J. Burke
  1. USDA-ARS Plant Stress & Germplasm Development Unit, Cropping Systems Research Laboratory, Lubbock, TX 79415


Early season cold tolerance in grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] is a desirable trait for extending its production range and minimizing risks associated with early spring plantings. Ten Chinese Kaoliang accessions were compared with 10 U.S. inbred parental lines and 10 U.S. commercial hybrids for a range of cold tolerance traits under laboratory, growth chamber, and field settings. Chinese lines were superior to both the inbred and hybrid classes in laboratory germination rates and field-based rates of emergence. In the growth chamber assays, Kaoliangs were not significantly different than U.S. hybrids for most traits measured at either of the two temperature treatments (12 and 24°C), with the exception of shoot length, for which the Chinese germplasm was higher. At the cooler temperature, Kaoliangs were significantly greater than U.S. inbreds for only fresh shoot weight; when tested at the warmer temperature, Kaoliangs had higher dry root weight, fresh and dry shoot weights, and fresh and dry whole plant weights, relative to the U.S. inbred class. The U.S. hybrids had greater total plot weight and final stand counts in the field than Kaoliangs, which were likewise higher than U.S. inbreds for both of these traits. Chinese accessions from this working group would serve as a source of favorable genes primarily for tolerance to low temperatures during the germination and emergence phase of growth in the breeding of cold tolerance sorghum lines.

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