Genetic variation in yield and chemical composition of wide range of sorghum accessions grown in north-west China

J.S. Wang, M.L. Wang, J.H.J. Spiertz, Z. Liu, L. Han, G.H. Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Sorghum can be grown on marginal and waste lands as a versatile feedstock for biofuel production in the vast areas of north-west China. Fifty-six sorghum accessions were grown in 2009 at the experimental station of Xinjiang Agricultural University, located at Urumchi, Xinjiang, China. A total of 31 agronomic, crop descriptors and chemical composition traits were investigated and analyzed. Among these accessions, significant variability was identified in grain yield (0.2-11.4 t/ha), stem weight (2.1-21.8 t/ha) and total biomass (13.8-34.4 t/ha) with an average of 6.5, 8.6 and 22.6 t/ha, respectively. Significant differences in chemical composition (including soluble sugar, starch, cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) of grain, leaf blade, leaf sheath and stem were identified. The stems of sweet sorghum contained a significantly higher amount of sugars and lower amounts of cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin than in other two sorghum types. Highly significant correlations were detected among the investigated traits. Cluster and principal component analyses classified these 56 accessions into two main groups. Accessions : X041, X125, and X057 were identified as good parental materials for breeding high yield cultivars of grain, sweet and biomass sorghum, respectively. In order to reconfirm and identify useful breeding materials for this arid region, further experimental research needs to be conducted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
JournalResearch on Crops
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • salinity
  • biofuels
  • drought
  • stress
  • moench

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