Harnessing benefits of finger millet in combating micronutrient malnutrition through genetics and genomic approaches uri icon

abstract

  • In developing countries, 80% deaths are attributed to continuous persistence micronutrient deficiency and associatedinfections and chronic diseases. Traditional crops harbouring health benefitting characteristics and micronutritionalrichness can deliver a low cost sustainable food-based solution for nutrition and health in such countries. Fingermillet, one such traditional crop grown in most marginal areas of Africa and Asia, is a rich source of healthbenefitting micronutrients, phytochemicals, vitamins and several essential amino acids. The objective of this workis to use advances in genetics and genomics approaches for better understanding the genetic control of thesehealth benefitting traits and to breed them effectively into other staple crops consumed on daily basis. A set of190 genotypes incorporating a minicore collection of finger millet together with a number of elite breeding lineshas been assembled to capture and characterise entire genetic variation associated with such traits in the cropgermplasm. These genotypes have been extensively characterised for diversity in micronutrients (such as iron,zinc, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium), protein and anti-nutrients (phytate and oxalate). Large-scaleGBS performed on this association panel has generated 156,157 SNPs which are being used in genome-wideassociation studies. Our work has identified a number of genomic regions in finger millet associated with boththe health benefitting traits as well as with other factors that affect their bioavailability. This work will significantlycontribute in developing means of assessing how such genetic variations are distributed in other staple crops

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016