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International Journal of Plant Genomics
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 471853, 6 pages
Research Article

QTL Mapping of a High Protein Digestibility Trait in Sorghum bicolor

Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Institute for Plant Genomics & Biotechnology, Texas A&M University, 2474 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843, USA

Received 4 December 2008; Accepted 12 April 2009

Academic Editor: Tianzhen Zhang

Copyright © 2009 Jennifer A. Winn et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Compared with other cereal grains, Sorghum bicolor shows lower protein digestibility. The low digestibility is thought to result from disulfide cross linking in the - and -kafirins. In contrast, the single recessive high digestibility/high lysine content (HD) mutation which confers greater grain digestibility exists in sorghum that is thought to result from reduced accumulation of -kafirin that allows greater access to the high digestible -kafarin fraction. In an effort to both clearly define the molecular basis for the HD trait and develop tools to improve the introgression of this difficult-to-screen trait, this study focuses on mapping the QTLs linked to this trait. While the HD trait has been defined as a single recessive gene, our results uncovered that two major QTLs on chromosome 1 are associated with protein digestibility—one QTL (locus 1 from the HD parent) unfavorably affects digestibility and one QTL (locus 2 from the HD parent) only 20 cM away favorably affects digestibility. A contrast analysis between genotypic groups at these two loci shows that a higher level of protein digestibility may be obtained when this linkage in repulsion is broken and favorable alleles are allowed to recombine.