Effect of waxy (low amylose) on fungal infection of sorghum grain

Deanna L. Funnell-Harris, Scott E. Sattler, Patrick M. O'Neill, Kent M. Eskridge, Jeffrey F. Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Loss of function mutations in waxy, encoding granule bound starch synthase (GBSS) that synthesizes amylose, results in starch granules containing mostly amylopectin. Low amylose grain with altered starch properties has increased usability for feed, food, and grain-based ethanol. In sorghum, two classes of waxy (wx) alleles had been characterized for absence or presence of GBSS: wxª (GBSS-) and wxb (GBSS+, with reduced activity). Field-grown grain of wild-type; waxy, GBSS-; and waxy, GBSS+ plant introduction accessions were screened for fungal infection. Overall, results showed that waxy grains were not more susceptible than wild-type. GBSS- and wild-type grain had similar infection levels. However, height was a factor with waxy, GBSS+ lines: short accessions (wxb allele) were more susceptible than tall accessions (undescribed allele). In greenhouse experiments, grain from accessions and near-isogenic wxª, wxb, and wild-type lines were inoculated with Alternaria sp., Fusarium thapsinum, and Curvularia sorghina to analyze germination and seedling fitness. As a group, waxy lines were not more susceptible to these pathogens than wild-type, supporting field evaluations. After C. sorghina and F. thapsinum inoculations most waxy and wild-type lines had reduced emergence, survival, and seedling weights. These results are valuable for developing waxy hybrids with resistance to grain-infecting fungi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)786-796
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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