A large sequenced mutant library – valuable reverse genetic resource that covers 98% of sorghum genes

Yinping Jiao, Deepti Nigam, Kerrie Barry, Chris Daum, Yuko Yoshinaga, Anna Lipzen, Adil Khan, Sai Praneeth Parasa, Sharon Wei, Zhenyuan Lu, Marcela K. Tello-Ruiz, Pallavi Dhiman, Gloria Burow, Chad Hayes, Junping Chen, Federica Brandizzi, Jenny Mortimer, Doreen Ware, Zhanguo Xin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Mutant populations are crucial for functional genomics and discovering novel traits for crop breeding. Sorghum, a drought and heat-tolerant C4 species, requires a vast, large-scale, annotated, and sequenced mutant resource to enhance crop improvement through functional genomics research. Here, we report a sorghum large-scale sequenced mutant population with 9.5 million ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS)-induced mutations that covered 98% of sorghum's annotated genes using inbred line BTx623. Remarkably, a total of 610 320 mutations within the promoter and enhancer regions of 18 000 and 11 790 genes, respectively, can be leveraged for novel research of cis-regulatory elements. A comparison of the distribution of mutations in the large-scale mutant library and sorghum association panel (SAP) provides insights into the influence of selection. EMS-induced mutations appeared to be random across different regions of the genome without significant enrichment in different sections of a gene, including the 5′ UTR, gene body, and 3′-UTR. In contrast, there were low variation density in the coding and UTR regions in the SAP. Based on the Ka/Ks value, the mutant library (~1) experienced little selection, unlike the SAP (0.40), which has been strongly selected through breeding. All mutation data are publicly searchable through SorbMutDB (https://www.depts.ttu.edu/igcast/sorbmutdb.php) and SorghumBase (https://sorghumbase.org/). This current large-scale sequence-indexed sorghum mutant population is a crucial resource that enriched the sorghum gene pool with novel diversity and a highly valuable tool for the Poaceae family, that will advance plant biology research and crop breeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1543-1557
Number of pages15
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • ethyl methyl sulfone mutants
  • resequencing
  • sorghum


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