Sorghum is a good candidate crop for breeding to increase provitamin A, i.e., biofortification. Yellow endosperm sorghums contain carotenoids, including precursors of vitamin A, and sorghum is a major staple crop in areas of Asia and Africa where vitamin A deficiency is prevalent. Our objective was to collect and characterize yellow endosperm sorghums as a potential new source of genetic diversity to increase provitamin A content. A set of 164 landraces were collected from southern Niger and northern Nigeria. The most important use of these cultivars was as food. The endosperm exhibited a significant variation in yellow intensity. Lutein, zeaxanthin and β-carotene were the most abundant carotenoids in the ten landraces with the most intense yellow color. Cluster analysis, principal coordinate analysis and population differentiation test revealed that this set of 164 landraces represent a new genetic pool that might increase the genetic diversity of yellow endosperm sorghums in applied breeding programs.
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution (2009) 56 (7) 991-1000 [doi: 10.1007/s10722-009-9417-3]