Breeding for disease resistance and yield in pearl millet uri icon

abstract

  • We describe a program at ICRISAT, India, for breeding pearl millet for disease-resistance and high grain yield. Large-scale, reliable techniques for screening in the field for downy mildew, ergot and smut have been developed and are routinely being used. Since downy mildew is economically important, all breeding material passes through the downy mildew-screening nursery and resistant varieties and hybrids have been bred. Synthetic varieties have been produced which are also resistant to smut and are agronomically good.Variability from African germplasm material, particularly for disease resistance, head volume, and seed size, has been exploited in crosses with Indian material. African parent-age occurs in nearly all of the advanced breeding products of the ICRISAT program.Recurrent selection has been used to produce open-pollinated varieties, one of which (WC-C75) is the first to be released in India where it already occupies a considerable hectarage. Conventional pedigree breeding has been used to produce synthetic parents, pollinators and seed parents. Several new seed parents have been released, and this broadens the genetic base of the hybrid crop which previously relied heavily on a single malesterile line

publication date

  • 1985
  • 1985