Relationship of grain iron and zinc content with grain yield in pearl millet hybrids uri icon


  • Development of pearl millet cultivars withhigh levels of grain iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) content canmake significant contribution to reducing widespreaddeficiencies of these micronutrients in populations heavilydependent on staple cereals for their dietary energy andnutritional requirements. It is imperative that breeding ofsuch cultivars must not compromise on grain yield andfarmer-preferred traits. Multi-location evaluation of two setsof hybrids with differing genetic composition showed thatFe and Zn contents had highly significant and high positivecorrelations in both sets of hybrids and in all environments,and they were not correlated with grain weight, implyingsimultaneous genetic improvement of both micronutrientsin large-seeded background is likely to be effective. Bothmicronutrients had moderate to low negative correlationswith grain yield in both sets of hybrids, although not alwayssignificant. Such associations might have resulted due tothe involvement of inidia germplasm as a common?Source?of high Fe and Zn content in both male and female parents,thereby reducing the genetic diversity between the parentallines for traits associated with heterosis for grain yield.Whether this could also be due to natural negativeassociation between genetic factors for these micronutrientson one hand and grain yield on the other merits furtherstudies through selection experiments using genomic toolsas the resolution of this issue has a direct bearing on breeding high-yielding hybrids with high levels of Fe and Zn content in pearl millet

publication date

  • 2014