A Rapid Method of Evaluating Growth Rate in Pearl Millet and Its Weedy and Wild Relatives1 uri icon


  • Vegetative growth rate is a physiological trait that has been hypothesized to be useful in the improvement of grain yield in cereal crops. Usefulness of this physiological trait in a breeding program depends upon a rapid method that allows the evaluation of large numbers of lines. In this study, the objective was to determine if the rates of growth calculated from periodic samplings could be estimated by using only one or two dates of harvest relating to specific stages in the plant's development. Periodic samples of vegetative growth were made on 19 pearl millet (Pennisetum americanum) genotypes, plus three weedy (ssp. stenostachyum) and one wild (ssp. monodii) accession in two seasons once every 2 weeks starting at 21 days after emergence and continuing to maturity. With use of the rates calculated on these periodic samples as the actual growth rate, it was found that samples taken at either one or two dates of harvest could be used to adequately estimate this rate. The two dates of harvest were taken at either 10 days after flowering or at maturity. The rate was calculated as (vegetative dry weight at flowering + 10 days or at maturity)/(number of days to flowering + 10)

publication date

  • 1984