Brian Pfeiffer, Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, Dawson, IL and William L. Rooney, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Black pericarp sorghum varieties contain high levels of 3-deoxyanthocyanidins (3-DOA) which are relatively rare but beneficial phenolic compounds located in the bran layers of the grain. These compound as well as phenols and tannins in black sorghum result in high levels of antioxidant activity relative to current commercial sources of antioxidants. In addition, this grain is useful as a natural food colorant. For these reasons, there is significant interest in black sorghum for use in food products. Further improvements in both color and 3-DOA content are contingent on understanding of the genetic factors underlying the expression of these traits. The objective of this study was to determine the inheritance of the black pericarp trait through generation means analysis in two different genetic backgrounds in three Texas environments. Additive, dominance, and epistatic effects and number of genes controlling the black pericarp trait were determined as well as the trait’s heritability. Results indicated that the trait is quantitative and highly heritable. Therefore, the creation of high yielding hybrids with elite agronomic traits and high levels of phenolic compounds should be possible through recurrent selection or backcross breeding methods.