Adaptation and quality traits of a germplasm-derived commercial seed parent of pearl millet uri icon


  • Iniadi landrace germplasm of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.) has typical characteristics of relatively photoperiod-insensitive early maturity and large seed size of dark grey colour. Direct selection within an iniadi landrace population from northern Togo led to the development of an early-maturing and high-yielding open-pollinated variety ICTP 8203, which is highly resistant to downy mildew (Sclerospora graminicola (Sacc.) Schroet). It has been under cultivation in India since 1989. During the course of the development of this variety, an S2 progeny was found to be a maintainer of the A1 cytoplasmic-nuclear male sterility system. Further inbreeding and selection in this progeny concurrent to its backcrossing into the sterility-inducing cytoplasm led to the development of maintainer line 863B and its male-sterile counterpart 863A, which is a seed parent of three commercial hybrids in India. Studies conducted in the past six years have shown this large-seeded line to have a unique combination of several useful traits, including high levels of resistance to multiple pathotypes of downy mildew, tolerance to terminal drought, high stover quality attributes, and high levels of grain iron and zinc contents. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) with favourable alleles for downy mildew resistance, drought tolerance and various fodder quality attributes in this line have been identified, which further enhance its breeding value

publication date

  • 2008