Diversity of small millets germplasm in genebank at ICRISAT

Upadhyaya, H D and Gowda, C L L and Reddy, V G and Singh, Sube (2008) Diversity of small millets germplasm in genebank at ICRISAT. In: 5th International Symposium on New Crops and Uses: their role in a rapidly changing world, 3-4 September, 2007, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.

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The family Poaceae includes an estimated 8000 species belonging to some 600 genera. Species of Poaceae (=grasses) occur in habitats across all countries that support the growth of flowering plants. Their use as food grains and feed for livestock make them very relevant to human survival. Among them, 35 species belonging to 20 genera are known to have been domesticated. Of these, eight species that have small seeds are used essentially as food crops in their respective agro-ecosystems. These include finger millet [Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn.], foxtail millet [Setaria italica (L.) Beauv.], Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.), little millet (Panicum sumatrense Roth. ex Roem. & Schult.), barnyard millet [Echinochloa crusgalli (L.) Beauv. & Echinochloa colona (L.) Link], kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum L.), teff [Eragrostis tef (Zucc.)] and Fonio millet (Digitaria exilis Stapf. & Digitaria iburua Stapf.). Small millets are also called minor millets, however, considering their nutritive values it would be more appropriate to call them nutritious millets. Of the eight crop species, ICRISAT was requested to assume the responsibility of germplasm assembly, characterization, documentation and conservation of the first six of these crops, and hence this paper confines itself to these six small millets. Small millets are mainly cultivated in arid, semi-arid or montane zones as rainfed crops in South Asia, China, CIS countries and several countries in Africa. Small millet crops are together cultivated on 18-20 m ha with a production of 15-18 m tons (Prasada Rao et al., 1987). Small millets are often grown under adverse soil and weather conditions compared to other crops. They have always been crops of drought-prone areas, but give reliable harvests, though these could be lower than from other crops. Information about the crops and germplasm related activities with the ICRISAT collections are discussed in this paper

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets
Depositing User: Ms K Syamalamba
Date Deposited: 31 May 2013 05:51
Last Modified: 31 May 2013 05:51
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/6828
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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