Sorghum pp 11-40 | Cite as

Mapping QTLs and Identification of Genes Associated with Drought Resistance in Sorghum

  • Karen R. Harris-ShultzEmail author
  • Chad M. Hayes
  • Joseph E. Knoll
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1931)


Water limits global agricultural production. Increases in global aridity, a growing human population, and the depletion of aquifers will only increase the scarcity of water for agriculture. Water is essential for plant growth and in areas that are prone to drought, the use of drought-resistant crops is a long-term solution for growing more food for more people with less water. Sorghum is well adapted to hot and dry environments and has been used as a dietary staple for millions of people. Increasing the drought resistance in sorghum hybrids with no impact on yield is a continual objective for sorghum breeders. In this review, we describe the loci, quantitative trait loci (QTLs), or genes that have been identified for traits involved in drought avoidance (water-use efficiency, cuticular wax synthesis, trichome development and morphology, root system architecture) and drought tolerance (compatible solutes, pre- and post-flowering drought tolerance). Many of these identified genes and QTL regions have not been tested in hybrids and the effect of these genes, or their interactions, on yield must be understood in normal and drought-stressed conditions to understand the strength and weaknesses of their utility.

Key words

Drought avoidance Drought tolerance Drought escape Trichomes Epicuticular wax Stay-green Root architecture Water-use efficiency Compatible solutes 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Somashekhar Punnuri (Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, GA) and Dr. Corley Holbook (USDA-ARS, Tifton, GA) for their critical comments in the development of this book chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen R. Harris-Shultz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chad M. Hayes
    • 2
  • Joseph E. Knoll
    • 1
  1. 1.Crop Genetics and Breeding Research UnitUSDA-ARSTiftonUSA
  2. 2.Plant Stress and Germplasm Development ResearchUSDA-ARSLubbockUSA

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