Genetic and Cytoplasmic Diversification of Pearl Millet Hybrid Parents uri icon


  • Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.) is an important cereal crop, grown on 26 million hain the arid and semi-arid tropical regions of Africa and Asia, with India having the largest area of10 m ha. It is a highly cross-pollinated crop with high degree of heterosis for grain yield, whichcan be exploited through hybrids and open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) as the two broad cultivaroptions. A commercially viable cytoplasmic-nuclear male sterility (CMS) system discovered inthe USA and made available to pearl millet improvement programs in India laid the foundationfor hybrid development in India in 1960s, which is the only significant pearl millet hybridgrowing country in the world. Since then, extensive use of this CMS source in hybriddevelopment, and search for new CMS sources was made at ICRISAT and elsewhere, mostly inIndia. Research during this period showed that single-cross hybrids have 25-30% grain yieldadvantage over OPVs. Also, during this period, there has been a gradual change in emphasis inIndian public sector towards

publication date

  • 2007