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  • 1 University of the Free State, P.O. Box 339, Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa
  • 2 Agricultural Research Council – Vegetable and Ornamental Plants Institute, Private Bag X293, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
  • 3 Agricultural Research Council – Grain Crops Institute, Private Bag X1251, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
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Sorghum is a drought tolerant cereal and staple food which is a dietary source of protein and more than 20 minerals. The concentration of the mineral elements and protein content in sorghum varies due to genotypic and environmental influences and genotype by environment interactions. The objective of this study was to determine the contents of eight mineral elements (Ca, Fe, K, Mn, Na, P, Zn and Mg) and protein in sorghum genotypes. The analysis of variance showed significant differences in mineral and protein contents. There was a significant relationship between Zn and Fe and between protein and P and Zn. The principal component (PC) analysis showed that Fe, Mn, P, Zn and protein contributed largely to clustering of the genotypes in PC1; Ca, P and Mg to PC2 and Ca, K and Na to PC3. The presence of a considerable amount of compositional variability of mineral and protein contents among tested genotypes suggests that they can be a valuable source of genes for nutritional quality improvement of sorghum.

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