Development of a Sorghum Doubled Haploid Breeding System

Period of Performance: 08/19/2015 - 12/31/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

1990 KIMBALL AVE Array
Manhattan, KS 66502
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Sorghum is a drought- and heat-tolerant crop that can help meet global needs for food, feed, and fuel. However, sorghum lags behind other crops in making progress in breeding for increased yield and improved traits. Heartland Plant Innovations is developing a robust system for producing and utilizing Sorghum Doubled Haploids (SDHs), a non-transgenic approach that greatly accelerates plant breeding. DH breeding systems are widely used in crops such as corn, but totally lacking for sorghum. Developing a SDH production system will offer a quicker route to new, improved hybrids with increased yields for farmers. In Phase I, HPI discovered a Haploid Inducing Pollinator (HIP1) that induces formation of viable haploid seeds in diverse lines of sorghum. Working with collaborators, HPI will use HIP1 to develop and implement an efficient pilot scale SDH system for breeding and genetics. This will be accomplished through research and development focused on the following objectives: 1) Confirm and characterize haploid-inducing pollinators identified during Phase I, determine the genetic basis for haploid induction by these lines and improve their performance; 2) Plan and execute a 2nd year of field trials to expand the hunt for useful pollinators; 3) Develop and integrate components of a commercial SDH breeding system, including seed sorting and chromosome doubling; 4) Develop a plan for marketing HPI's SDH breeding system to customers.Sorghum breeders who are working to deliver new inbreds and hybrids to farmers would greatly benefit from incorporating SDH lines into their programs. SDH lines could be used to accelerate traditional breeding, or to rapidly introgress high-value traits for resistance to diseases, insects or abiotic stress. Success with the proposed sorghum DH research will permit expansion of HPI's customer base to include sorghum breeders around the world. HPI expects to market production of SDHs on demand, or to partner with others in making DH technology available for customers to use.