Genetic Improvement of Pearl Millet for Grain and Forage Production: Cytogenetic Manipulation and Heterosis Breeding uri icon


  • Pearl millet,Pennisetum glaucum(L.) R. Brown (=Pennisetum typhoides(Burm.) Stapf etHubb.), is the most important member of the genusPennisetumof the tribe Paniceae in the familyPoaceae. The namePennisetumwas derived as a hybrid of two Latin words ?penna, meaningfeather, andseta, meaning bristle ? and describes the typically feathery bristles of its species(Jauhar 1981a). Pearl millet is the sixth most important cereal crop in the world, ranking afterwheat, rice, maize, barley, and sorghum. It is a valuable grain and fodder crop and is cultivated inmany parts of the world, although in the U.S. it is grown primarily as a forage crop on less than1 million ha. In tropical and warm-temperature regions of Australia and some other countries, itis also grown as a forage crop (Jauhar 1981a).Pearl millet is an ideal organism for basic and applied research. In their extensive reviews,Jauhar (1981a) and Jauhar and Hanna (1998) compiled the available literature on cytogenetics andbreeding of pearl millet and related species. This article covers some basic aspects of cytogeneticsof pearl millet, its cytogenetic manipulation with a view to enrich it with alien genes, aspects ofheterosis breeding facilitated by the cytoplasmic-nuclear male sterility (CMS) system and possiblyby apomixis, and direct gene transfer into otherwise superior cultivars

publication date

  • 2006