The Genetic Makeup of a Global Barnyard Millet Germplasm Collection. uri icon

abstract

  • Barnyard millet (Echinochloa spp.) is an important crop for many smallholder farmers in southern and eastern Asia. It is valued for its drought tolerance, rapid maturation, and superior nutritional qualities. Despite these characteristics there are almost no genetic or genomic resources for this crop in either cultivated species (E. colona (L.) Link and E. crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv.). Recently, a core collection of 89 barnyard millet accessions was developed at the genebank at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). To enhance the use of this germplasm and genomic research in barnyard millet improvement, we report the genetic characterization of this core collection using whole-genome genotyping-by-sequencing. We identified several thousand single-nucleotide polymorphisms segregating in the core collection, and we use them to show patterns of population structure and phylogenetic relationships among the accessions. We determine that there are probably four population clusters within the E. colona accessions and three such clusters within E. crus-galli. These clusters match phylogenetic relationships but by and large do not correspond to classification into individual races or clusters based on morphology. Geospatial data available for a subset of samples indicates that the clusters probably originate from geographic divisions. In all, these data will be useful to breeders working to improve this crop for smallholder farmers. This work also serves as a case study of how modern genomics can rapidly characterize crops, including ones with little to no prior genetic data
  • Barnyard millet (Echinochloa spp.) is an important crop for many smallholder farmers in southern and eastern Asia. It is valued for its drought tolerance, rapid maturation, and superior nutritional qualities. Despite these characteristics there are almost no genetic or genomic resources for this crop in either cultivated species [E. colona (L.) Link and E. crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv.]. Recently, a core collection of 89 barnyard millet accessions was developed at the genebank at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). To enhance the use of this germplasm and genomic research in barnyard millet improvement, we report the genetic characterization of this core collection using whole-genome genotyping-by-sequencing. We identified several thousand single-nucleotide polymorphisms segregating in the core collection, and we use them to show patterns of population structure and phylogenetic relationships among the accessions. We determine that there are probably four population clusters within the E. colona accessions and three such clusters within E. crus-galli. These clusters match phylogenetic relationships but by and large do not correspond to classification into individual races or clusters based on morphology. Geospatial data available for a subset of samples indicates that the clusters probably originate from geographic divisions. In all, these data will be useful to breeders working to improve this crop for smallholder farmers. This work also serves as a case study of how modern genomics can rapidly characterize crops, including ones with little to no prior genetic data.

publication date

  • 2015
  • 2015
  • 2015