Introgression of striga resistance into popular Sudanese sorghum varieties using marker assisted selection
Witchweed (Strigaspp.) is one of the most important cereals production constraints globally and is projected to worsen with anticipated climate change. It is especially a devastating parasitic weed in Sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. Integrated management strategies that depend mainly on host plant resistance provide the most effective control mechanism for Striga. We used molecular marker-assisted backcrossing to introgress Striga resistance from a resistant genotype, N13, into agronomically important genetic backgrounds (Tabat, Wad and Ahmed). Backcross populations BC3S3 were generated and genotyped using Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) and Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) markers. A total of 17 promising backcross progenies were selected and screened in Striga infested field alongside their parents. The Area Under Striga Progress Curve (AUSPC) showed significant decrease in Striga count (920-7.5) resulting in a 97-189% increase in yield under Striga pressure. Our results demonstrate the practical application of marker assisted selection (MAS) to generate farmer-preferrd Striga resistant lines in Sudan.