Pearl Millet Breeding Lines Developed at ICRISAT:A Reservoir of Variability and Useful Source ofNon-Target Traits uri icon


  • The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) conducts inter-disciplinary andpartnership-based research for the genetic improvementof its mandate crops. During the 1970s and 1980s, thepearl millet improvement at ICRISAT, Patancheru,emphasized on: (i) developing a diverse range of traitspecificcomposites, based on the germplasm largely fromthe Western and Central Africa; (ii) improving them bythe process of recurrent selection, principally for grainyield and downy mildew (Sclerospora graminicola (Sacc.)Schroet ) resistance; and (iii) developing open-pollinatedvarieties (OPVs) (Rai and Anand Kumar 1994). Theimproved composites, OPVs, and breeding lines derivedfrom them, were disseminated for worldwide utilization.These germplasm, improved populations, and breedinglines were also utilized at ICRISAT, Patancheru, mostlyfor pedigree breeding which was aimed at developing awide and diverse range of improved trait-specific breedinglines and hybrid parents employing higher grain yieldpotential and downy mildew (DM) resistance, as themain selection criteria. Limited efforts were also madeto develop composites, OPVs, and breeding lines withadditional resistance to smut (Tolyposporium penicillariaeBref.) and ergot (Claviceps fusiformis Loveless)

publication date

  • 2014