24 / SEEDWORLD.COM DECEMBER 2018 She points out that the genotypes with high herbicide toler- ance are not suitable for commercial production as they do not possess desirable agronomic traits. The next step is to under- stand why these lines are tolerant to herbicide and how the trait is inherited. Jugulam says the ultimate goal is to transfer herbicide-tol- erant traits from the tolerant genotypes into an agronomically suitable background. They would then perform experiments to look at the feasibility of crossing tolerant genotypes with agro- nomically suitable ones. Jugulam will work with a plant breeder to transfer the herbicide-tolerant traits into an elite background, which includes genetic lines known to perform well with high yield, short stature, no lodging and other advantages. Today, researchers on the project are assessing the physi- ological and molecular mechanisms that are responsible for herbicide tolerance in sorghum. Jugulam estimates that, overall, six to eight years of work is needed to develop the final product. In the future, Jugulam hopes to identify markers and genes responsible for herbicide tolerance. She also looks to optimize a breeding program to transfer the trait into a desirable background. Research partners include the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission; Thompson; P. V. V. Prasad, distinguished professor in crop physiology; Tesfaye Tesso, professor in sorghum breeding and genetics; Sanzhen Liu, assistant professor in genomics and bioinformatics; and Balaji Aravindhan Pandian, doctoral student. Ecology and Management K-State’s Anita Dille also received a Sorghum Checkoff grant in the amount of $160,000. Dille’s research hones in on the ecol- ogy of grass weeds found in grain sorghum. Prior to the study, there was not a much ecological knowl- edge about grass weeds (when they emerge and what species need to be controlled) in sorghum. From a management perspective, researchers know that her- bicides control weeds when applied to weeds up to certain sizes. What they didn’t know was when the grass weeds would reach the critical stages and how those stages related to the life cycle of sorghum. This information would then inform them as to when an herbicide could be applied to a sorghum crop. There were two pieces to this research project: when emer- gence would occur and what species would appear. Dille explains they first had to examine when grasses emerged and how quickly the plants surfaced. This helps them understand what grasses compete with the sorghum crop and possibly cause loss during the critical period of weed control. “We’re looking for the one mutation in millions that would cause resistance.” —Todd Gaines