Dr. Liz Cooper

Genomic variation in iron transporters in sweet sorghum

Dr. Liz Cooper
UNC Charlotte

April 12, 2023

Hosted By Dr. Ayalew Osena


Sorghum bicolor is an important multi-purpose cereal crop that can be grown for grain, biofuel, and also sugar.  Using a de novo assembled genome for sweet sorghum, we previously uncovered a number of large structural genomic changes that appeared to be related to differences in sugar accumulation, and found that many of these mutations occurred in putative metal transport genes.  After further investigating the patterns of genomic variation, gene expression, population structure and phenotypic differentiation among more diverse sorghum genotypes, we find increased evidence supporting the idea that duplications and deletions of metal ion transport genes are a hallmark of the sweet sorghum genome. These results shed new light on the possible role of iron transporters in recent sorghum diversification, and also offer insights into the connections between iron-deficiency response and sugar accumulation in cereal grasses.