Genetic diversity for grain nutrients contents in a core collection of finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn.) germplasm uri icon

abstract

  • Finger millet is a promising source of micronutrients and protein contents besides energy and can contribute to alleviation of iron (Fe), zinc (Zn) and protein malnutrition, affecting women and preschool children in African and south-east Asian countries. The most cost effective approach for mitigating micronutrients and protein malnutrition is to introduce staple crop cultivars selected and/or bred for Fe, Zn and protein dense grain. Attempts to breed finger millet for enhanced grain nutrients are still in its infancy. Analysis, detection and exploitation of existing variability among the germplasm accessions are the initial steps in breeding micronutrient and protein-dense finger millet cultivars. Evaluation of finger millet core germplasm for grain nutrients and agronomic traits revealed a substantial genetic variability for grain Fe, Zn, calcium (Ca) and protein contents. The accessions rich in nutrient contents were identified and their agronomic diversity assessed. The accessions rich in Zn content have significantly higher grain yield potential than those rich in Fe and protein content. Grain nutrient-specific accessions and those contrasting for nutrient contents were identified for use in strategic research and cultivar development in finger millet

publication date

  • 2011
  • 2011