Agro‐morphological Characterization of West and Central African Pearl Millet Accessions uri icon

abstract

  • Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.) wasdomesticated in Sahelian West Africa. This highlyoutcrossing crop is one of the most importantstaple cereals in the semiarid tropics, adapted tovery harsh rain-fed conditions. Agro-morphologicalcharacterization of local germplasm is veryimportant to better understand existing diversity,ease targeted genetic broadening of breedingpopulations, and potentially link this knowledgeto genotypic information. The objectives of ourstudy were to (i) characterize West and CentralAfrican (WCA) pearl millet accessions based ontheir agro-morphological traits; (ii) evaluate thepossibility to group accessions based on theiragro-morphological characteristics; (iii) determinegeographic patterns of phenotypic differentiation;and (iv) derive conclusions for pearl milletimprovement in WCA. A total of 360 early-tomediummaturity accessions were phenotypedfor 12 agro-morphological traits at six environmentsin WCA. Wide ranges of all observed traitsindicated a high diversity of the tested accessions.Principal component analysis revealedvery large diversity within individual countries,especially within Mali and Burkina Faso. Somelimited grouping of accessions from Niger, Senegal,Cameroon, Morocco, and Mauritania wasobserved for individual principal componentaxes. Geographical differentiation and countrydifferences were detected for several traits. Theresults and data presented in our study reflectWCA pearl millets? tremendous diversity andadaptability to a wide range of environments andgive a sound basis for breeders to select and utilizethis germplasm to serve the manifold needsof WCA pearl millet farmers

publication date

  • 2015
  • 2015