Genetic Variation among Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) Landraces from Eritrea under Post-Flowering Drought Stress Conditions


Sorghum (Sorghum bicolour (L.) Moench) grown under rain-fed conditions is usually affected by drought stress at different stages, resulting in reduced yield. The assessment of variation in morpho-physiological traits contributing towards drought tolerance at these stages is of vital importance. This study was conducted using a split plot design with three replications to evaluate 25 sorghum accessions at post flowering stage under well watered and drought stress conditions at Hamelmalo Agricultural College. The data of 14 different morpho-physiological traits were subjected to analysis of variance, estimation of genetic variability and heritability and principal component analysis. We analyzed variance for seedling vigor, number of leaves, leaf area, stay-green, peduncle exsertion, panicle length and width, plant height, days to flowering and maturity, grain yield, biomass and harvest index under drought stress and irrigated conditions. The results showed that genotypic differences were significant at P < 0.05 - < 0.001. High magnitude of phenotypic and genotypic coefficient of variations for plant height, harvest index and biomass as well as high heritability for days to flowering, panicle length, days to maturity and over all agronomic score were recorded. Principal component (PC) analysis showed that the first 4 PCs had Eigen value >1 explaining 74.6% of the total variation with grain yield, biomass, stay-green, leaf area, peduncle exsertion and days to flowering and maturity being the most important characters in PC1 and PC2. This research demonstrated high diversity for the characters studied. Moreover, the result showed that drought stress reduced the yield of some genotypes, though others were tolerant to drought. Accessions EG 885, EG 469, EG 481, EG 849, Hamelmalo, EG 836 and EG 711 were identified as superior for post-flowering drought tolerance and could be used by breeders in improvement programs.

Share and Cite:

Abraha, T. , Githiri, S. , Kasili, R. , Araia, W. and Nyende, A. (2015) Genetic Variation among Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) Landraces from Eritrea under Post-Flowering Drought Stress Conditions. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 6, 1410-1424. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2015.69141.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Food and Agriculture Organization Crop Production Statistics (FAOSTAT) (2014) World Sorghum Production and Utilization. FAO, Rome.
[2] Hall, A.E. (1993) Is Dehydration Tolerance Relevant to Genotypic Differences in Leaf Senescence and Crop Adaptation to Dry Environments. In: Close, T.J. and Bray, E.A., Eds., Plant Responses to Cellular Dehydration during Environmental Stress, 1-10.
[3] Blum A., Mayer, J. and Golan, G. (1988) Agronomic and Physiological Assessments of Genotypic Variation for Drought Resistance in Sorghum. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 40, 49-61.
[4] Ramirez, P. and Kelly, J.D. (1998) Traits Related to Drought Resistance in Common Bean. Euphytica, 99, 127-136.
[5] Kebede, H., Subudhi, P.K., Rosenow, D.T. and Nguyen, H.T. (2001) Quantitative Trait Loci Influencing Drought Tolerance in Grain Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench). Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 103, 266-276.
[6] Ejeta, G. and Knoll, J.E. (2007) Marker-Assisted Selection in Sorghum. In: Varshney, R.K. and Tuberosa, R., Eds., Genomic-Assisted Crop Improvement: Vol. 2: Genomics Applications in Crops, Springer Publications, The Netherlands, 187-205.
[7] Tuinstra, M.R., Grote, E.M., Goldsbrough, P.B. and Ejeta, G. (1997) Genetic Analysis of Post-Flowering Drought Tolerance and Components of Grain Development in Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench. Molecular Breeding, 3, 439-448.
[8] Blum, A. (1979) Genetic Improvement of Drought Resistance in Crop Plants. A Case for Sorghum. In: Mussel, H. and Staples, R.C., Eds., Stress Physiology in Crop Plants, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 429-245.
[9] Rosenow, D.T. and Clark, L.E. (1995) Drought and Lodging Resistance for Quality Sorghum Crop. Proceedings of the 50th Annual Corn and Sorghum Industry Research Conference, Chicago, 6-7 December 1995, 82-97.
[10] Rosenow, D.T., Ejeta, G., Clark, L.E., Gilbert, M.L., Henzell, R.G., Borrell, A.K. and Muchow, R.C. (1996) Breeding for Pre- and Post-flowering Drought Stress Resistance in Sorghum. In: Rosenow, D.T. and Yohe, J.M., Eds., Proceedings of the International Conference on Genetic Improvement of Sorghum and Pearl Millet, Lubbock, 22-27 September 1996, 400-411.
[11] Rosenow, D.T. (1977) Breeding for Lodging Resistance in Sorghum. In: Loden, H.D. and Wilkinson, D., Eds., Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Corn and Sorghum Industry Research Conference, American Seed Trade Association, Washington DC, 171-185
[12] Xu, W.W., Subudhi, P.K., Crasta, O.R., Rosenow, D.T., Mullet, J.E. and Nguyen, H.T. (2000) Molecular Mapping of QTLs Conferring Staygreen in Grain Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench). Genome, 43, 461-469.
[13] Borrell, A.K., Hammer, G.L. and Douglas, A.C.L. (2000) Does Maintaining Green Leaf Area in Sorghum Improve Yield under Drought? I. Leaf Growth and Senescence. Crop Science, 40, 1026-1037.
[14] Ahmad, S.Q., Khan, S., Ghaffar, M. and Ahmad, F. (2011) Genetic Diversity Analysis for Yield and Other Parameters in Maize (Zea mays L.) Genotypes. Asian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 3, 385-388.
[15] Mitra, J. (2001) Genetics and Genetic Improvement of Drought Tolerance in Crop Plants. Current Science, 80, 758-762.
[16] Waqar-Ul-Haq, M., Malik, F., Rashid, M., Munir, M. and Akram, Z. (2008) Evaluation and Estimation of Heritability and Genetic Advancement for Yield Related Attributes in Wheat Lines. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 40, 1699-1702.
[17] Laghari, K.A., Sial, M.A., Afzal Arain, M.A., Mirbahar, A.A., Pirzada, A.J., Dahot, M.U. and Mangrio, S.M. (2010) Heritability Studies of Yield and Yield Associated Traits in Bread Wheat. Pakistan Journal of Botany, 42, 111-115.
[18] Wanous, M.K., Miller, F.R. and Rosenow, D.T. (1991) Evaluation of Visual Rating Scales for Green Leaf Retention in Sorghum. Crop Science, 31, 1691-1694.
[19] Reddy, B.V.S., Ramaiah, B., Kumar, A.A. and Reddy, P.S. (2007) Evaluation of Sorghum Genotypes for the Stay-Green Trait and Grain Yield. SAT E Journal, 3, 1-4.
[20] Payne, R.W., Murray, D.A., Harding, S.A., Baird, D.B. and Soutar, D.M. (2011) An Introduction to Gen Stat for Windows. 14th Edition, VSN International, Hemel Hempstead.
[21] Sokal, R.R. and Michener, C.D. (1958) A Statistical Methods for Evaluating Relationships. University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 38, 1409-1448.
[22] Assefa, K., Ketema, S., Tefera, H., Nguyen, H.T., Blum, A., Ayele, M., Bai, G., Simane, B. and Kefyalew, T. (1999) Diversity among Germplasm Lines of the Ethiopian Cereal Tef (Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter). Euphytica, 106, 87-97.
[23] Tsuji, W., Ali, M.E.K, Inanaga, S. and Sugimoto, Y. (2003) Growth and Gas Exchange of Three Sorghum Cultivars under Drought Stress. Biologia Plantarum, 46, 583-587.
[24] Khaliq, I., Irshad, A. and Ahsan, M. (2008) Awns and Flag Leaf Contribution towards Grain Yield in Spring Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Cereal Research Communication, 36, 65-76.
[25] Karamanos, A.J. and Papatheohari, A.Y. (1999) Assessment of Drought Resistance of Crop Genotypes by Means of the Water Potential Index. Crop Science, 39, 1792-1797.
[26] Blum, A., Mayer, J., Golan, G. and Sinmena, B. (1999) Drought Tolerance of a Doubled Haploid Line Population of Rice in the Field. In: Ito, O., O’Toole, J. and Hardy, B., Eds., Genetic Improvement of Rice for Water-Limited Environments, International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos, 319-329.
[27] Sellamuthu, R., Liu, G.F., Ranganathan, C.B. and Serraj, R. (2011) Genetic Analysis and Validation of Quantitative Trait Loci Associated with Reproductive-Growth Traits and Grain Yield under Drought Stress in a Double Haploid Line Population of Rice (Oryza sativa L.). Field Crops Research, 124, 46-58.
[28] Sheoran, I.S. and Saini, H.S. (1996) Drought-Induced Male Sterility in Rice: Changes in Carbohydrate Levels and Enzyme Activities Associated with the Inhibition of Starch Accumulation in Pollen. Sexual Plant Reproduction, 9, 161-169.
[29] Khaliq, I., Irshad, A. and Ahsan, M. (2008) Awns and Flag Leaf Contribution towards Grain Yield in Spring Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Cereal Research Communications, 36, 65-76.
[30] Cooper, M., Van Eeuwijik, F.A., Chapman, S.C., Podllich, D.W. and Loffler, C. (2006) Genotype by Environment Interactions Underwater-Limited Conditions. In: Ribaut, J.M., Ed., Drought Adaptation in Cereals, Haworth Press, Goteborg, 51-95.
[31] Murray, S.C., Rooney, W.L., Mitchell, S.E., Sharma, A., Klein, P.E., Mullet, J.E. and Kresovich, S. (2008) Genetic Improvement of Sorghum as a Biofuel Feedstock: II. QTL for Stem and Leaf Structural Carbohydrates. Crop Science, 48, 2180-2193.
[32] Ritter, K.B., Jordan, D.R., Chapman, S.C., Godwin, I.D., Mace, E.S. and McIntyre, C.L. (2008) Identification of QTL for Sugar-Related Traits in a Sweet × Grain Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) Recombinant Inbred Population. Molecular Breeding, 22, 367-384.
[33] Zhao, Y.L., Dolat, A., Steinberger, Y., Wang, X., Osman, A. and Xie, G.H. (2009) Biomass Yield and Changes in Chemical Composition of Sweet Sorghum Cultivars Grown for Biofuel. Field Crops Research, 111, 55-64.
[34] Rafique, M., Hussain, A., Mahmood, T., Alvi, A.W. and Alvi, B. (2004) Heritability and Interrelationships among Grain Yield and Yield Components in Maize (Zea mays L). International Journal of Agricultural Biology, 6, 1113-1114.
[35] Rafiq, C.M., Rafique, M., Hussain, A. and Altaf, M. (2010) Studies on Heritability, Correlation and Path Analysis in Maize (Zea mays L.). Agricultural Research, 48, 35-38.
[36] Basu, A.K. (1981) Variability and Heritability Estimate from Inter-Season Sorghum Cross. Indian Journal of Agricultural Science, 41, 116-117.
[37] Abu-Gasim, E.H. and Kambal, A.E. (1985) Variability and Interrelationship among Characters in Indigenous Grain Sorghum of the Sudan. Crop Science, 11, 308-309.
[38] Bello, O.B., Abdulmaliq, S.Y., Afolabi, M.S. and Ige, S.A. (2010) Correlation and Path Coefficient Analysis of Yield and Agronomic Characters among Open Pollinated Maize Varieties and Their F1 Hybrids in a Diallel Cross. African Journal of Biotechnology, 9, 2633-2639.
[39] Mujaju, C. and Chakuya, E. (2008) Morphological Variation of Sorghum Landrace Accessions On-Farm in Semi-Arid Areas of Zimbabwe. International Journal of Botany, 4, 376-382.
[40] Ali, M.A., Jabran, K., Awan, S.I., Abbas, A., Zulkiffal, M., Acet, T., Farooq, J. and Rehman, A. (2011) Morpho-Physiological Diversity and Its Implications for Improving Drought Tolerance in Grain Sorghum at Different Growth Stages. Australian Journal of Crop Science, 5, 311-320.
[41] Ayana, A. and Bekele, E. (1999) Multivariate Analysis of Sorghum (Sorghum bicolour (L.) Moench) Germplasm from Ethiopia and Eritrea. Genet Resource Crop Evolution, 46, 273-284.
[42] Bucheyekei, T.L., Gwanama, C., Mgonja, M., Chisi, M., Folkertsma, R. and Mutegi, R. (2009) Genetic Variability Characterisation of Tanzania Sorghum Landraces Based on Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs) Molecular and Morphological Markers. Journal of African Crop Science, 17, 71-86.
[43] Dean, R.E., Dahlberg, J.A., Hopkins, M.S., Mitchell, S.E. and Kresovich, S. (1999) Genetic Redundancy and Diversity among Sorghum Accessions in the USA National Sorghum Collection as Assessed with Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs) Markers. Crop Science, 39, 1215-1221.
[44] Ghebru, B., Schmidt, R.J. and Bennetzen, J.L. (2002) Genetic Diversity of Eritrea Sorghum Landraces Assessed with Simple Sequence Repeats (SSR) Markers. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 105, 229-236.
[45] Geleta, N. and Labuschagne, M.T. (2005) Qualitative Traits Variation in Sorghum (Sorghum bicolour (L.) Moench) Germplasm from Eastern Highlands of Ethiopia. Biodiversity and Conservation, 14, 3055-3064.
[46] Teshome, A., Baum, B.R., Fahrig, L., Torrance, J.K., Arnason, T.J. and Lambert, J.D. (1997) Sorghum (Sorghum bicolour L.) Moench] Landrace Variation and Classification in North Shewa and South Welo, Ethiopia. Euphytica, 97, 255-263.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.