A rapid screening method for grain iron content in Pearl Millet uri icon


  • Enhancing grain iron (Fe) content is one of the effectiveways of increasing the Fe intake and reducing theincidence of Fe-deficiency anaemia (Welch and Graham2002). Large genetic variability for grain Fe content hasbeen reported in many crops (Graham et al. 1999). Pearlmillet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.Br.) is a major sourceof dietary energy for millions of people living in the aridand semi-arid tropical regions of Africa and Asia. It hason an average 50 mg kg-1 of grain Fe, which is more thanwheat, rice and maize. Studies with limited germplasmhave shown large genetic variability for this trait,indicating good opportunities to select and/or breedmillet genotypes with still higher grain Fe (Jambunathanand Subramanian 1988; Abdalla et al. 1998). The bottleneckin this process is the high cost of Fe estimation. Atpresent Fe estimation is done with digests using AtomicAbsorption Spectrophotometry (AAS) and InductivelyCoupled Plasma-Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry(ICP), which require relatively expensive instrumentsand are time-consuming. These chemical analyses wouldbe prohibitively costly for evaluating a large number ofprogenies during the course of a breeding program. Aprocedure based on Perls? Prussian blue stain wasproposed for rapid screening of grain Fe content in rice(Prom-u-thai et al. 2003; Krishnan et al. 2003) whichinvolves scoring color intensity in the embryo of cut andtreated seeds (with 2% Prussian blue) through a stereomicroscope.The objective of this research was to simplifythe method and assess its effectiveness in screening forgrain Fe content in pearl millet

publication date

  • 2006