Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 128, Issue 9, pp 1765–1775 | Cite as

Genetic differentiation analysis for the identification of complementary parental pools for sorghum hybrid breeding in Ethiopia

  • Taye T. MindayeEmail author
  • Emma S. Mace
  • Ian D. Godwin
  • David R. Jordan
Original Paper


Key message

The potential for exploiting heterosis for sorghum hybrid production in Ethiopia with improved local adaptation and farmers preferences has been investigated and populations suitable for initial hybrid development have been identified.


Hybrids in sorghum have demonstrated increased productivity and stability of performance in the developed world. In Ethiopia, the uptake of hybrid sorghum has been limited to date, primarily due to poor adaptation and absence of farmer’s preferred traits in existing hybrids. This study aimed to identify complementary parental pools to develop locally adapted hybrids, through an analysis of whole genome variability of 184 locally adapted genotypes and introduced hybrid parents (R and B). Genetic variability was assessed using genetic distance, model-based STRUCTURE analysis and pair-wise comparison of groups. We observed a high degree of genetic similarity between the Ethiopian improved inbred genotypes and a subset of landraces adapted to lowland agro-ecology with the introduced R lines. This coupled with the genetic differentiation from existing B lines, indicated that these locally adapted genotype groups are expected to have similar patterns of heterotic expression as observed between introduced R and B line pools. Additionally, the hybrids derived from these locally adapted genotypes will have the benefit of containing farmers preferred traits. The groups most divergent from introduced B lines were the Ethiopian landraces adapted to highland and intermediate agro-ecologies and a subset of lowland-adapted genotypes, indicating the potential for increased heterotic response of their hybrids. However, these groups were also differentiated from the R lines, and hence are different from the existing complementary heterotic pools. This suggests that although these groups could provide highly divergent parental pools, further research is required to investigate the extent of heterosis and their hybrid performance.


Cytoplasmic Male Sterility Genotype Group Polymorphic Information Content Hybrid Breeding Sorghum Genotype 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors are thankful to AusAID (Australian Agency for International Development) for the financial support to undertake this research and sponsoring PhD scholarship to TTM and QAAFI (Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation) for research support.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

122_2015_2545_MOESM1_ESM.doc (638 kb)
Supplementary material 1: Expected Heterozygosity (EH) values of sorghum genotypes using SNPs located in the euchromatin and heterochromatin of each of the chromosome for the three main groups i. Ethiopian improved inbred lines; ii. Introduced inbred lines; iii. Ethiopian landraces genotypes. (DOC 638 kb)
122_2015_2545_MOESM2_ESM.doc (254 kb)
Supplementary material 2: Model based estimation of population structure for (K=2 to 5) for the inbred lines identified as follows: introduction B lines (B), introduced R lines (R); Ethiopian improved lowland (IL) and improved intermediate (IM); Ethiopian landrace highland (LH), intermediate (LI) and lowland (LLG1 and LLG2) genotypes. Each group is separated by a black vertical line. (DOC 254 kb)
122_2015_2545_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (147 kb)
Supplementary material 3: List of sorghum genotypes obtained from Ethiopian landraces, Ethiopian improved and introduced genotypes grouped based on agro-ecological adaptation and fertility response in hybrid breeding. (PDF 147 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taye T. Mindaye
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Emma S. Mace
    • 3
  • Ian D. Godwin
    • 4
  • David R. Jordan
    • 1
  1. 1.Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, Hermitage Research Facility, The University of QueenslandWarwickAustralia
  2. 2.Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Melkassa Research CenterNazarethEthiopia
  3. 3.Department of Agriculture, Forestry and FisheriesHermitage Research FacilityWarwickAustralia
  4. 4.School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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