Towards understanding the traits contributing to performance of pearl millet open-pollinated varieties in phosphorus-limited environments of West Africa

Gemenet, D C and Beggi, F and Hash, C T and Sy, O and Sanogo, M D and Zangre, R G and Falalou, H and Buerkert, A and Haussmann, B G (2016) Towards understanding the traits contributing to performance of pearl millet open-pollinated varieties in phosphorus-limited environments of West Africa. Plant and Soil, 407 (1-2). pp. 243-259. ISSN 0032-079X

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Aims Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.] open-pollinated varieties, which are the predominant cultivars, have never been systematically evaluated for adaptation to low-soil phosphorus (P), a major constraint on pearl millet production in West Africa (WA). Methods We evaluated grain yield (GY), flowering time (FLO), harvest index (HI), and residual grain yields (RGY) of 102 open-pollinated varieties from WA under low-P (−P) and high-P (+P) field conditions in six environments of WA. In addition, PE-related traits of the varieties were evaluated at early growth stage in a pot experiment. Results Significant genetic variation was observed for GY, FLO, HI and PE-related traits. P-efficient varieties had higher yield under −P conditions. Varietal performance under −P varied across environments depending on FLO, relative flowering delay under −P (FD) and RGY measured in the field. Low-P-susceptible varieties had higher FLO, lower HI than low-P-tolerant varieties. Response to direct selection under −P field conditions was 20.1 g m−2, whereas indirect selection response under +P was 16.3 g m−2. Conclusions Selection under −P field conditions while taking into account seasonal variations for FLO, FD and PE is expected to be important for improving GY specifically targeting −P environments in WA.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: RP-Dryland Cereals
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pearl millet; Phosphorus efficiency; West Africa; Selection strategy
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets > Pearl Millet
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2015 03:36
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2017 10:56
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: Two anonymous reviewers of this manuscript are greatly appreciated. Financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for funding the phenotypic research through the BMZAbiotic Stress project (GIZ Project Number 09.7860.1-001.00) based at ICRISAT West Africa-Niamey, and the McKnight Foundation Collaborative Crop Research Program via discretionary research funds to BIG Haussmann is gratefully appreciated. The invaluable effort by technical staff at Sadore and collaborating NARS in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal for assisting in conducting the trials is also acknowledged. The publication is an output of a scholarship from the Food Security Centre of the University of Hohenheim, which is part of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) program Bexceed^ and is supported by DAAD and BMZ. This publication was finalized as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Dry land Cereals.
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