Sorghum Eyed as a Southern Bioenergy Crop
(Phys.Org) Sweet sorghum is primarily grown in the United States as a source of sugar for syrup and molasses. But the sturdy grass has other attributes that could make it uniquely suited to production as a bioenergy crop, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies suggest.
Sorghum is an ideal candidate because of its drought tolerance, adaptability to diverse growing conditions, low nitrogen fertilizer requirements, and high biomass (plant material) content, according to molecular biologist Scott Sattler and collaborator Jeff Pedersen with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS). It also produces soluble sugar that can be converted to biofuel. Residual fibers left over from the juice extraction process also can be burned to generate electricity.
…At the ARS Crop Genetics and Breeding Research Unit in Tifton, Ga., geneticist William Anderson and his colleagues are working to identify desirable sweet sorghum genes and their functions so improved varieties can be developed. In studies, they selected 117 genotypes from the ARS sorghum germplasm collection at Griffin, Ga., and evaluated them for their ability to mature quickly and resist fall armyworms and the fungal disease anthracnose. READ MORE and MORE (USDA)