Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2004
Publication Date: 10/31/2004
Citation: Newman, M.L. aka Harrison Dunn, M.L., Dean, R., Wang, M.L., Barkley, N.L. 2004. Evaluation of the usda finger millet collection. In: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts, Madison, WI. CDROM.
Interpretive Summary: Finger millet is an important food crop for many countries. It is consumed as porridge, ground into flour for making breads and cakes or popped for a snack. Due to its excellent malting properties, it is used for making alcoholic beverages and has potential for use as an infant food. Although finger millet does not receive the same attention as some of the other major cereal crops, it has great promise in providing a highly nutritional food source for developing countries. It is an excellent protein source supplying high levels of methionine and lysine which are often the limiting amino acids in the diets of developing countries. It is also higher in calcium and iron than many other major cereal crops. The USDA National Plant Germplasm System maintains 1468 accessions of finger millet, 766 of which are located at the Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit in Griffin, GA. This collection is a valuable source of plant material and contains diverse accessions collected from 17 different countries. The entire collection located in Griffin, GA was selected for evaluation. Specific plant traits were observed and recorded for each accession. A small subset of this collection was chosen which would include a wide variety of these traits. This subset is called the core collection. This smaller core collection can be used for further studies which would have not been practical using a larger population.
Technical Abstract: The USDA National Plant Germplasm System maintains 1468 accessions of finger millet, 766 of which are located at the Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit in Griffin, GA. This collection is a valuable source of plant material and contains diverse accessions collected from 17 different countries. Unfortunately, the data available on the collection is limited, which makes it difficult for researchers to select accessions for inclusion in studies. The aim of the current project was to expand the descriptor set for finger millet focusing on environmentally neutral descriptors. The descriptors collected include ear shape; finger length, width and number; grains per spikelet; grain color, shape, surface and uniformity; spikelet shattering; pericarp persistence; growth habit; discontinuity of spikelets on finger, panicle weight and plant pigmentation. The entire collection maintained in Griffin, GA was selected for regeneration and evaluation. A high level of variability was observed for the descriptors. A core collection for finger millet designed to represent the diversity contained within the entire collection was formed based on geographical stratification and clustering of the descriptor data. This core will facilitate the selection of a diverse set of accessions to include in further evaluation studies and for use in breeding programs.