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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Crop Genetics and Breeding Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #219520

Title: Evaluation of pearl millet for yield and downy mildew resistance across seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa

item Wilson, Jeffrey - Jeff
item SANOGO, M
item FOFANA, A
item TRAORE, H
item MUUKA, F

Submitted to: African Journal of Agricultural Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/14/2008
Publication Date: 6/2/2008
Citation: Wilson, J.P., Sanogo, M., Nutsugah, S.K., Angarawai, I., Fofana, A., Traore, H., Ahmadou, I., Muuka, F.P. 2008. Evaluation of pearl millet for yield and downy mildew resistance across seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. African Journal of Agricultural Research. 3:371-378.

Interpretive Summary: Because of the rising costs of fuel, fertilizers, and irrigation, crops adapted to marginal production areas and low inputs can contribute to economic stability of production. As a crop species of desert origins, pearl millet has attributes that can be of value in U.S. agriculture. In evaluations of 40 pearl millets in 7 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, six varieties with superior yield and stability were identified. Five varieties were resistant to downy mildew, an exotic disease currently excluded through quarantine efforts. These pearl millets can be useful in breeding new varieties with wide adaptation, and will serve to fortify resistance in U.S. germplasm to protect against inadvertent introduction of exotic diseases.

Technical Abstract: Forty pearl millet germplasms consisting of traditional and improved open pollinated varieties, hybrids, and inbreds were selected for diversity in grain yield or quality, fertility restoration for specific cytoplasms, resistance to diseases or pests, and variation in height and maturity. Trials were conducted in Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal in 2003 and 2004, and in Burkina Faso, Niger, and Zambia in 2004. Data were collected on yield, downy mildew incidence, maturity, plant height, and panicle length. Variation occurred for all traits across locations and genotypes. Across locations and years, Sosat-C88, ICMV IS 89305, Gwagwa, NKK, Sosank, and CIVT were the highest yielding entries. Sosank, CIVT, ICMV IS 89305, Sosat-C88, and Gwagwa were also among the most downy mildew resistant entries. Across locations and years, grain yield was negatively correlated with downy mildew incidence, and positively correlated with days to flowering, plant height, and panicle length. These general patterns of correlation differed among some of the individual trials, with days to flowering having the least consistent correlations with grain yield. Further selection for improved yield and wide adaptation in pearl millet is likely to be possible. Site-specific selection is necessary to identify other important traits in addition to yield. The high-yielding and resistant pearl millets identified in this study will be useful to introgress new traits into preferred local varieties, or to serve as parental material for breeding and hybrid development.