Several sorghum cultivars of Mali were irradiated with different doses of gamma rays and compared with the Caudatum types. Radio-sensitivity studies suggested that the local types were less sensitive to radiation than the introduced types. Whereas the local varieties survived dose of 300 Gy, in Caudatum types, seed germination and growth were significantly reduced at 200 Gy. Several agronomically important mutants were obtained among the progeny of the local types. Some of the mutants were shorter and had improved panicle characteristics. Radiation-induced variation was observed in several characters such as plant height, resistance to lodging, plant architecture, drought tolerance, panicle length and compactness, seed size and color, seed quality (viterous or floury) and protein content, glume color and structure, flowering data (early and late maturity), and tillering capacity. One mutant was drought tolerant. Promising mutants were selected and are presently under evaluation in the National List Trials to confirm their potential and future release. Selected variants have been also crossed with local types to obtain promising material. (author). 8 refs, 2 tabs.