Haiti Tissue Collection

Durable Adaptation to Aphid and Drought for Smallholder Sorghum in the Americas

Challenge

Globally, there is great interest in applying new genomic technologies to accelerate genetic gains in developing country breeding programs. However, these methods have not been adopted in developing country level National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARI) due a mismatch between available genomic selection approaches and the existing operations of NARI breeding programs. Globally, there is great interest in applying new genomic technologies to accelerate genetic gains in developing country breeding programs. However, these methods have not been adopted in developing country level National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARI) due a mismatch between available genomic selection approaches and the existing operations of NARI breeding programs.

 

Solution

This project aims to develop genomic approaches from within a NARI breeding program to reduce barriers for adoption. Specifically, these improved genomics selection approaches will be deployed to address several key constraints for dual-purpose sorghums used by smallholders in Haiti. The targets will be improving grain yield while maintaining forage yield and quality, improving tolerance to low/high pH soils, and improving tolerance to post-emergence and post-flowering water limitation.

 

Funding

This project and research was funded by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet, known as the Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab (SMIL). This lab is funded by USAID and managed at Kansas State University.

 

Award Amount

$1,677,915 (2016 - 2023)

Research Team

Geoffrey Morris           Gael Pressoir
Edward Buckler            Sara Miller
Kebede Muleta             Rigaud Charles
Abdel Abellard              Raoul Amisial
Magagi Abdou              Ndiaga Cisse
Daniel Fonceka             Falalou Hamidou
Aissata Mamadou        Ramasamy Perumal
Eva Weltzien                 Terry Felderhoff

U.S.A. collaborating institutions

Colorado State University
Cornell University
Kansas State University

International collaborating institutions

Haiti - CHIBAS Foundation (Haitian Center for Innovation in Biotechnology and Sustainable Agriculture), Université Quisqueya

Principal Investigator

Dr. Geoffrey Morris

Colorado State University
Associate Professor of Crop Quantitative Genomics
Soil and Crop Sciences
Phone: 970-491-2102
Email: [email protected]

Regional Impact

Haiti

Project Description

This project began an Associate Award from USAID, the Feed the Future Innovatin Lab for Genomics-Assisted Sorghum Breeding in 2016 (AID-OAA-LA-16-00003) led by Dr. Edward Buckler at Cornell University, Dr. Gael Pressoir at Université Quisqueya, and Dr. Geoffrey Morris at Kansas State University. After much success, the Associate Award ended and this project continues the work and research. This project ensures that innovations on aphid and drought resilient varieties by the Université Quisqueya sorghum program will lead to durable solutions for smallholder farmers and downstream stakeholders in Haiti. Further, technology will be developmed to facilitate the diffusion of the technology from Haiti to other smallholder-serving breeding programs in Latin America and beyond. By designing genomics-assisted breeding approaches in a National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), the resulting technology will be better suited for adoption by other NARIs globally. The tools and resources developed in this project will facilitate adoption of genomics-assisted breeding by partner programs in West and East Africa and will be diffused globally via breeding informatics initiatives (GOBII and BMS).

Progress and Impact

The project is developing new aphid resistance marker technology, to further reduce aphid damage and mitigate the possibility that the RMES1 gene is overcome by the aphid. Genotype and phenotype data collection for aphid resistance in the Université Quisqueya program has been completed, and initial mapping of new aphid-resistance loci is underway. Similarly, new drought tolerance loci have been identified based on field phenotyping of drought response in the Université Quisqueya program. Using the same aphid and drought phenotype data, researchers are testing hypotheses on potential tradeoffs and limitations of the current aphid and drought resilience traits used by Université Quisqueya to develop breeding strategies that circumvent these issues.

Kansas State University
K-State lab backs work that helps rescue Haitian sorghum crop
Saving sorghum from disappearance in Haiti
Download

Country Coordinator

Dr. Gael Pressoir
Dean for the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Université Quisqueya (Haiti)

Presentation & Publications