Efficiency of Single Plant Selection for Grain Iron and Zinc Density in Pearl Millet uri icon


  • Single plant selection, if effective, can make significant contributions to enhance breeding efficiency. This hypothesis was tested for grain iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) density in four populations of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.). Inbreeding and selection in advancing generations is normally practiced by evaluating progenies in unreplicated nurseries or at most in 2-replication trials. In each population in this study, grain samples of 40 random individual plants (hereafter referred to as S0 plants) and their S1 progenies grown in 2-replication trials for two seasons (called as environments) were analyzed for Fe and Zn density using ICP analytical method. In each population, correlation coefficients between S0 plants and their respective S1 progenies (whether individual environment or the mean of both environments) both for Fe and Zn density were positive, highly significant, and of the similar order as the correlation coefficients between the two environments for the S1 progeny performance. Also, the patterns of correlation coefficients between the S0 plants and either of the two replications of the S1 progenies in each environment were similar to those between the two replications for S1 progeny performance in both environments and in all four populations. While the Fe and Zn density were positively and highly significantly correlated, these were not correlated with grain mass. The patterns of these associations were similar both at the S0 plant level as well as at the S1 progeny level in each population. These results suggest that individual plant selection can be effectively used for simultaneous genetic improvement of both grain Fe and Zn density without compromising on grain size

publication date

  • 2012