, Volume 157, Issue 1–2, pp 161–176 | Cite as

An assessment of the genetic relationship between sweet and grain sorghums, within Sorghum bicolor ssp. bicolor (L.) Moench, using AFLP markers

  • Kimberley B. Ritter
  • C. Lynne McIntyre
  • Ian D. Godwin
  • David R. Jordan
  • Scott C. Chapman


Compared to grain sorghums, sweet sorghums typically have lower grain yield and thick, tall stalks which accumulate high levels of sugar (sucrose, fructose and glucose). Unlike commercial grain sorghum (S. bicolor ssp. bicolor) cultivars, which are usually F1 hybrids, commercial sweet sorghums were selected as wild accessions or have undergone limited plant breeding. Although all sweet sorghums are classified within S. bicolor ssp. bicolor, their genetic relationship with grain sorghums is yet to be investigated. Ninety-five genotypes, including 31 sweet sorghums and 64 grain sorghums, representing all five races within the subspecies bicolor, were screened with 277 polymorphic amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. Cluster analysis separated older sweet sorghum accessions (collected in mid 1800s) from those developed and released during the early to mid 1900s. These groups were emphasised in a principle component analysis of the results such that sweet sorghum lines were largely distinguished from the others, particularly by a group of markers located on sorghum chromosomes SBI-08 and SBI-10. Other studies have shown that QTL and ESTs for sugar-related traits, as well as for height and anthesis, map to SBI-10. Although the clusters obtained did not group clearly on the basis of racial classification, the sweet sorghum lines often cluster with grain sorghums of similar racial origin thus suggesting that sweet sorghum is of polyphyletic origin within S. bicolor ssp. bicolor


AFLP Genetic diversity Grain sorghum Sorghum bicolor Sweet sorghum 



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Sugar Research and Development Corporation (SRDC) via a scholarship to the first author


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimberley B. Ritter
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. Lynne McIntyre
    • 1
  • Ian D. Godwin
    • 2
  • David R. Jordan
    • 3
  • Scott C. Chapman
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIRO Plant IndustryQueensland Bioscience PrecinctSt LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.The School of Land and Food SciencesUniversity of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Primary Industries and FisheriesHermitage Research StationWarwickAustralia

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