Bonnie Pendleton Lal Almas
Ndiaga Cisse Daniel Fonceka
Abdou Hamé Aissata Mamadou
Gary Peterson Ibrahima Sarr
Mark Stelter Soumana Souley
West Texas A&M University
Texas A&M AgriLife Research
Kansas State University
Niger - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN)
Senegal - Centre d’Etudes Régional pour l’Amélioration de l’Adaptation à la Sécheresse (CERAAS), Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA), Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA), Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), Université de Thiès
Production and storage of quality grain in West Africa are constrained by abiotic stresses including drought and biotic stresses including insects (sorghum midge, storage beetles and moths) and diseases (grain mold/weathering). The sorghum midge is the most damaging insect pest of sorghum worldwide and can destroy 100% of developing kernels. Grain mold/weathering and storage beetles and moths are serious problems for grain in most production regions. Beetles and moths destroy as much as 40% of stored grain and often require insecticidal treatment.
This multi-disciplinary research project includes entomology, breeding, and agricultural economics to develop, evaluate, and deploy sorghum genotypes resistant to abiotic and biotic stresses and adapted to indigenous production and storage systems in West Africa. An integrated approach increases agricultural productivity and economic growth, with attention to human nutrition, environmental conservation, development of host-country capacity, and gender equity.
In this project, sorghum genotypes with resistance to important stressors in West Africa and the U.S. were selected for managing abiotic and biotic constraints. Sorghums that flower when sorghum midges are present in the field were evaluated to develop resistance to sorghum midge. Research on sorghum time of flowering in relation to environmental factors were used to verify the genetic basis of resistance.
Germplasm resistant to grain mold and weathering in a range of environments were introgressed into sorghums adapted to Niger and Senegal. To protect stored grain, environmentally friendly methods including hermetic storage and plants with natural insecticidal properties were evaluated. Scanning electron microscopy of the structure of sorghum kernels resistant to storage insects were used to increase efficiency for evaluating sorghum genotypes for resistance.
Extension assisted in teaching farmers to identify and manage biotic constraints in the field and storage. Human capacity improved by educating scientists in conventional and molecular research methodology and in graduate degree programs. Production profitability and marketing opportunities for sorghum cultivars with increased resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses were assessed to ensure farmer adoption in West Africa. This project improved human nutrition, human capacity, and environmental conservation while increasing productivity and economic growth for sorghum.
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN)
Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles du Senegal (ISRA)
Sorghum seeds from Texas A&M AgriLife Research at Lubbock were packaged and sent to Niger and Senegal for evaluating for resistance to stresses. Nurseries were planted at three locations in Niger: International Disease and Insect Nursery (IDIN) at Bengou, Midge Line Test (MLT) at Konni, and International Drought Line Test (IDLT) at Lossa. The IDIN and IDLT were provided to collaborators so each could select germplasm that may be useful as a parent in a breeding and selection program. At the research station, technicians viewed and recorded preliminary data on plant growth and evaluated resistance against biotic and abiotic stresses in Niger. Technicians recorded data on booting and flowering sorghum, as well as monitored resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.
Natural insecticides from four botanicals were evaluated for control of maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais, in Texas. Deterrence tests were done to evaluate the feeding behavior of maize weevils on sorghum treated with botanicals as compared to non-treated sorghum. Additional chemical analyses, including HPLC and NMR, were used to assess the chemical composition of the botanicals. Results were analyzed and were reported in the dissertation of the Niger Ph.D. student at West Texas A&M University. A Ph.D. student in Senegal found that after three months in storage, more adult Tribolium emerged from three varieties, with most (76 adults) emerging from CE-180-33 sorghum. Fewest storage insects (0 to 5) emerged from kernels of Sureno and Macia. Ephestia kuehniella caused most damage to all sorghum genotypes except Sureno and Macia that were only 2.4 and 6.9% damaged, respectively.