Australian Sorghum Research Group Meeting (AusSORGM)

August 20, 2011

Filed under: News — Tags: , — Karen Chance @ 1:34 am

Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell WallsGeoff Fincher, Riksfardini Ermawar and Natalie Betts attended the 17th annual Australian Sorghum Research Group Meeting in early August. The conference was well attended by diverse members of the industry.

They heard about recent progress in the fields of plant breeding; molecular biology; genetic techniques; biosecurity; physiological modelling; and pathology.

Dinie gave a well-received talk about manipulating sorghum gene expression to enhance sugar accessibility for biofuel production. Other topics included:

  • Characterisation of the popular “Stay Green” trait, which conveys drought tolerance, enhanced grain yield and size, and improved standability. This trait maps to at least 5 chromosomal locations, and identifying key genes will occupy researchers for many years to come.
  • Industrial perspectives on current sorghum production, key opportunities and current concerns.
  • Improving resource use efficiency in plants, specifically water and nitrogen use. We heard about effects of a warmer, drier climate on plant sizes, and about advances in transpiration measurement.
  • Proposed feeding trials for humans.
  • How to keep farms safe from weeds and diseases, and current advances in characterising Fusarium disease species.
  • A new technique using a camera loaded onto a remote control helicopter to assess canopy size and plant health in sorghum paddocks!