Honors Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Dockery, K. 2024. Using CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing to Investigate the Function of Six Inflorescence Candidate Genes in Sorghum. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Copyright Kevin Dockery 2024


Sorghum is a vital crop for food and biofuel production, and much is still unknown surrounding the genetics behind its floral development. Distinct genetic similarities with maize allow genes that are similar in sequence and location to inflorescence genes in maize to be identified. Six genes with the potential to influence the growth, development, and inflorescence architecture in sorghum were identified based on similarities to maize and edited using CRISPR-Cas9 to determine their function. Ten edited T1 sorghum lines were subsequently grown, phenotyped, and genotyped. Three genes in total have significant edits present within them: Sobic.001G199200, Sobic.001G119200, and Sobic.003G300800. All three of these genes have well-characterized homologues in maize, and the functions of these homologous genes within both plants are similar, having diverse and potent impacts in sorghum growth and development. Further research needs to be done in order to better characterize the function of these genes, both for their influence in growth and development, as well as stress resilience.