Sorghum is an important crop of semi-arid tropics. Ninety percent of the world's area cultivated to sorghum is in developing countries, mainly in the arid or semi-arid regions of Africa and Asia. Being highly adaptable to harsh condi-tions, it plays a major role by supplying staple food and fodder for millions of poor and marginal farmers. The genetic improvement of sorghum through clas-sical plant breeding has resulted in the successful development and deployment of highly adapted high-yielding cultivars that are stable across years. However, to further enhance productivity, quality and resistance to constraints such as drought, Striga, grain mold, and insect pests that are so common on the poor farmers' fields in the tropics, much more needs to be done. The resistance level available in cultivated sorghum types is not adequate to build durable resistance to some of the constraints, especially those caused by insect pests. Therefore, the emerging technologies of genetic engineering, such as genetic transformation, have attracted much attention for sorghum improvement, as they provide novel means to supplement the traditional breeding methods.
This book is a compendium of the updated research articles that were presented in the workshops and discussion groups at ICRISAT. This will be of immense use for the workers engaged in applied as well as basic research on improve-ment of sorghum and related crops.
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