Variability for grain iron and zinc content in a diverse range of pearl millet populations uri icon


  • Micronutrient malnutrition, resulting from dietary deficiency of iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn), is a widespread food-related health problem, especially in developing countries. Diversified food and crop cultivars with elevated levels of these micronutrients provide the most cost-effective solution to this problem. In an effort to address this problem through genetic improvement, field trials of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L) R. Br.) were conducted at Patancheru during 2004-2006 to examine the magnitude of variability for these micronutrients. Mean Fe content among 68 diverse populations ranged from 42.0 to 79.9 mg/kg and Zn content ranged from 42.0 to 79.9 mg/kg and Zn content ranged from 27.2 to 50.2 mg/kg. Intra-population variability in four improved populations was also studied. Over two-fold range among the progenies of four iniadi based populations was found for Fe (51-150 mg/kg) as well as Zn contents (39-107 mg/kg) with some of the progenies having >120 mg/kg Fe and >80 mg/kg Zn content. The correlation co-efficient between Fe and Zn content was positive and highly significant (r=0.66 to 0.85; P<0.01), indicating the likely effectiveness of simultaneous improvement for both micronutrients

publication date

  • 2008