African Journal of
Food Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Food Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0794
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJFS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 978

Full Length Research Paper

Characterization of the Southern African sorghum varieties for mineral contents: Prospects for breeding for grain mineral dense lines

  Dickson Ng’uni1,2*, Mulatu Geleta1, Eva Johansson3, Moneim Fatih4 and Tomas Bryngelsson1
  1Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, SE-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden. 2Zambia Agriculture Research Institute, National Plant Genetic Resources Centre, Private Bag 7, Chilanga, Zambia. 3Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Agriculture Farming Systems, Technology and Product Quality, SE-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden. 4Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Pomonavägen 2, SE-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 06 June 2011
  •  Published: 31 July 2011



Sorghum is a staple crop and source of energy and minerals for people in semi-arid tropics of Africa and Asia. Thirteen improved and twenty seven farmer varieties of sorghum from southern Africa were analyzed for grain macro- and micronutrient content to identify germplasm with potential for breeding for mineral dense varieties. Improved sorghum varieties ELT-1-17, MMSH-1040, MMSH-1257 and MMSH-1324 exhibited higher grain macronutrient contents than farmer varieties and ranked high for grain K, Mg, S and P contents. Grain K content ranged from 278.3 to 717.8 mg/100 g, Mg (109 to 224.1 mg/100 g), S (112.5 to 275.3 mg/100 g), and grain P content ranged from 195.1 to 468.5 mg/100 g. Farmer varieties showed superiority for grain Fe content that ranged from 2.74 to 8.18 mg/100 g (ZMB5788, MW734, TZ4255) and grain Zn content ranging from 2.03 to 5.53 mg/100 g (TZ4031, TZ3966 and ZMB7111).Sorghum varieties with brown grains exhibited significant higher grain content for grain Ca, K and B than white grained varieties. Most promising improved varieties for high grain Mg, P, S and K contents and farmer varieties for high grain Fe and Zn contents are potential candidates for replicated and multilocational field experiments.


Key words: Sorghum, farmer varieties, improved varieties, macronutrients, micronutrients, semi-arid tropics, nutrition.