SORGHUM BICOLOR, commonly called SORGHUM (/ˈsɔːrɡəm/ ) and also
known as GREAT MILLET, DURRA, JOWARI, or MILO, is a grass species
cultivated for its grain, which is used for food for humans, animal
feed, and ethanol production.
Sorghum originated in northern Africa,
and is now cultivated widely in tropical and subtropical regions.
Sorghum is the world's fifth-most important cereal crop after rice ,
wheat , maize , and barley . S. bicolor is typically an annual, but
some cultivars are perennial. It grows in clumps that may reach over 4
m high. The grain is small, ranging from 2 to 4 mm in diameter. Sweet
sorghums are sorghum cultivars that are primarily grown for foliage,
syrup production, and ethanol; they are taller than those grown for
Sorghum bicolor is the cultivated species of sorghum; its wild
relatives make up the botanical genus
* 1 Cultivation
* 2 Uses
* 3 Agricultural uses
* 4 Research
* 5 Genome
* 6 Pests "> Seed head of sorghum in
Sorghum with a
recurved peduncle trait, Turpan basin, Xinjiang,
China In some
varieties and in certain conditions, the heavy panicle will make the
young soft peduncle bend, which then will lignify in this position.
Combined with awned inflorescence, this forms a two-fold defence
The leading producers of sorghum bicolor in 2011 were Nigeria
India (11.2%), Mexico (11.2%), and the
United States (10.0%).
Sorghum grows in a wide range of temperature, high altitudes, toxic
soils and can recover growth after some drought. It has four features
that make it one of the most drought-resistant crops:
* It has a very large root-to-leaf surface area ratio.
* In times of drought, it will roll its leaves to lessen water loss
* If drought continues, it will go into dormancy rather than dying.
* Its leaves are protected by a waxy cuticle.
Richard Pankhurst reports (citing Augustus B. Wylde) that in
Ethiopia , durra was "often the first crop sown on newly
cultivated land", explaining that this cereal did not require the
thorough ploughing other crops did, and its roots not only decomposed
into a good fertilizer, but they also helped to break up the soil
while not exhausting the subsoil .
Red on white sorghum grains
Sorghum is cultivated in many parts of the world today. In the past
50 years, the area planted with sorghum worldwide had increased 66%.
In many parts of Asia and Africa, its grain is used to make flat
breads that form the staple food of many cultures. The grains can
also be popped in a similar fashion to popcorn.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE PER 100 G (3.5 OZ)
1,418 kJ (339 kcal)
* μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams
* IU = International units
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for
The species can be used as a source for making ethanol fuel , and in
some environments may be better than maize or sugarcane , as it can
grow under harsher conditions. It typically has protein levels around
9%, enabling dependent human populations to subsist on it in times of
famine, in contrast to regions where maize has become the staple crop.
It is also used for making a traditional corn broom .
The reclaimed stalks of the sorghum plant are used to make a
decorative millwork material marketed as
Kirei board .
Sweet sorghum syrup is known as molasses in some parts of the U.S.,
although it is not true molasses .
China , sorghum is known as gaoliang (高粱), and is fermented
and distilled to produce one form of clear spirits known as baijiu
白酒 of which the most famous is
ground and the flour was the main alternative to wheat in northern
China for a long time.
India , where it is commonly called jwaarie, jowar, jola, or
jondhalaa, sorghum is one of the staple sources of nutrition. An
Indian bread called bhakri , jowar roti, or jolada rotti , is prepared
from this grain. In some countries, sweet sorghum stalks are used for
producing biofuel by squeezing the juice and then fermenting it into
ethanol . Texas A"> Research is being done to find a process that
will predigest the grain. One study on cattle showed that steam-flaked
sorghum was preferable to dry-rolled sorghum because it improved daily
weight gain. In hogs, sorghum has been shown to be a more efficient
feed choice than corn when both grains were processed in the same way.
The introduction of improved varieties, along with improved
management practices, has helped to increase sorghum productivity. In
India, productivity increases are thought to have freed up six million
hectares of land. The International Crops Research Institute for the
Semi-Arid Tropics (
ICRISAT ) in collaboration with partners produces
improved varieties of crops including sorghum . Some 194 improved
cultivars of sorghum from the institute have been released.
Research is being conducted to develop a genetic cross that will make
the plant more tolerant to colder temperatures and to unravel the
drought tolerance mechanisms, since it is native to tropical climates
In the United States, this is important because the cost of corn was
steadily increasing due to its usage in ethanol production for
addition to gasoline.
Sorghum silage can be used as a replacement of
corn silage in the diet for dairy cattle . Other research has shown
that a timely harvest of sorghum is essential for a safe feed product.
The plants need to be harvested during the time when the plant's total
moisture content is between 63 and 68%, to prevent lodging .
Approximately, this is when the grain reaches the "soft dough" stage.
More research has found that sorghum has higher nutritional value
compared to corn when feeding dairy cattle, and the type of processing
is also essential in harvesting the grain's maximum nutrition. Feeding
steam-flaked sorghum showed an increase in milk production when
compared to dry-rolling. When a grain is steam-flaked, it is cooked
slightly, which makes certain nutrients more available to be digested.
Additional research is being done on sorghum as a potential food
source to meet the increasing global food demand.
Sorghum is resistant
to drought- and heat-related stress. The genetic diversity between
subspecies of sorghum makes it more resistant to pests and pathogens
than other less diverse food sources. In addition, it is highly
efficient in converting solar energy to chemical energy, and also in
use of water. All of these characteristics make it a promising
candidate to help meet the increasing global food demand. As such,
many groups around the world are pursuing research initiatives around
Purdue University ,
HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Danforth
Center, and the University of Nebraska , among others.
Another research application of sorghum is as a biofuel. Sweet
sorghum has a high sugar content in its stalk, which can be turned
into ethanol. The biomass can be burned and turned into charcoal,
syn-gas, and bio-oil.
The genome of
Sorghum bicolor was sequenced between 2005 and 2007.
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* ^ "The
* ^ "
Sorghum bicolor". Natural Resources Conservation Service
PLANTS Database. USDA . Retrieved 2 February 2016.
* ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland.
Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
* ^ Dillon, Sally L.; Shapter, Frances M.; Henry, Robert J.; et al.
(1 September 2007). "Domestication to Crop Improvement: Genetic
Sorghum and Saccharum (Andropogoneae)". NIH . PMC
2759214 . Missing or empty url= (help )
* ^ A B C "Grassland Index:
Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench".
* ^ "Sweet Sorghum". Sweet
Ethanol Producers. Retrieved 13
* ^ A B C D Jeri Stroade; Michael Boland & Mykel Taylor. "AGMRC
* ^ Richard Pankhurst, Economic History of
Ethiopia (Addis Ababa:
Haile Selassie I University, 1968), p. 193.
* ^ O P Sharma (1993).
Plant Taxonomy. Tata McGraw-Hill. p. 439.
ISBN 0-07-460373-6 .
* ^ National Research Council (1996-02-14). "Sorghum". Lost Crops
of Africa: Volume I: Grains. National Academies Press. ISBN
978-0-309-04990-0 . Retrieved 2008-07-18.
* ^ "How to make a broom". Ogden Publications, Inc. Retrieved
* ^ "Sweet
Sorghum : A New "Smart Biofuel Crop".
agribusinessweek.com. 30 June 2008.
* ^ "Ceres and Texas A&M to Develop and Market High-Biomass Sorghum
for Biofuels (
Texas A&M University System Agriculture Program)".
gnewsarchive.tamu.edu. 1 October 2007.
* ^ United
Sorghum Checkoff Program
* ^ A B "