Past and present dynamics of sorghum and pearl millet diversity in Mount Kenya region

Labeyrie, V and Deu, M and Dussert, Y and Rono, B and Lamy, F and Marangu, C and Kiambi, D and Calatayud, C and Coppens d'Eeckenbrugge, G and Robert, T and Leclerc, C (2016) Past and present dynamics of sorghum and pearl millet diversity in Mount Kenya region. Evolutionary Applications, 9 (10). pp. 1241-1257. ISSN 17524571

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Crop populations in smallholder farming systems are shaped by the interaction of biological, ecological, and social processes, occurring on different spatio temporal scales. Understanding these dynamics is fundamental for the conservation of crop genetic resources. In this study, we investigated the processes involved in sorghum and pearl millet diversity dynamics on Mount Kenya. Surveys were conducted in ten sites distributed along two elevation transects and occupied by six ethnolinguistic groups. Varieties of both species grown in each site were inventoried and characterized using SSR markers. Genetic diversity was analyzed using both individual- and population-based approaches. Surveys of seed lot sources allowed characterizing seed-mediated gene flow. Past sorghum diffusion dynamics were explored by comparing Mount Kenya sorghum diversity with that of the African continent. The absence of structure in pearl millet genetic diversity indicated common ancestry and/or important pollen- and seed-mediated gene flow. On the contrary, sorghum varietal and genetic diversity showed geographic patterns, pointing to different ancestry of varieties, limited pollen-mediated gene flow, and geographic patterns in seed-mediated gene flow. Social and ecological processes involved in shaping seed-mediated gene flow are further discussed.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals
Uncontrolled Keywords: Crop diversity, Farmers’ seed systems, Gene flow, Population genetics, Social organization
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets > Pearl Millet
Mandate crops > Sorghum
Others > Kenya
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2017 12:42
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2017 12:42
Official URL:
Funders: CIRAD (Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement). Grant Number: ATP 06/01
Acknowledgement: Thanks are due to CIRAD (Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement) for financing the project ATP 06/01 in the frame of which this study was conducted, KALRO for supporting overall implementation of the project, and Ministry of Agriculture and Government Administration staff and farmers for their devotion and cooperation during the surveys and seed collection missions. We acknowledge the help of Ben Kanyenji, former Head of Sorghum research program at KALRO Embu, as well as that of Caroline Mwongera, Eliud Kagete, and Peter Mucheru for field collection and surveys, Margaret Mwathi at ICRISAT for DNA extraction, and that of the IPS2 (Institute of Plant Sciences, Paris Saclay) genotyping platform for pearl millet genotyping. This study was greatly improved by the comments and advises of Jean-Louis Noyer. Last, we are grateful to Fabrice Sagnard for his involvement in this project.
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