Harnessing wild relatives of pearl millet for germplasm enhancement: Challenges and opportunities

Sharma, S and Sharma, R and Govindaraj, M and Mahala, R S and Satyavathi, C T and Srivastava, R K and Gumma, M K and Kilian, B (2020) Harnessing wild relatives of pearl millet for germplasm enhancement: Challenges and opportunities. Crop Science (TSI), 61 (1). pp. 177-200. ISSN 0011-183X

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Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.] is one of the world’s hardiest warmseason cereal crop and is cultivated mainly in the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Africa for food, feed, fodder, and brewing. It is mainly cultivated for its gluten-free grains with high content and better quality of nutrients. Pearl millet is a resilient crop that can produce grain and biomass under harsh conditions like low fertility, erratic rainfall, acidic and saline soils, and the hottest climates. However, biotic stresses such as downy mildew and blast diseases and abiotic stresses, especially drought and seedling- and flowering-stage heat stress, pose constant threat to the realization of yield potential of this crop. To make further improvement in threshold level of abiotic and biotic stress tolerance, breeders are looking for novel genes in diverse germplasm sources. Crop wild relatives (CWRs) could be a source of novel genes that are important for diversification of the genetic base of pearl millet. A stage-gate process is proposed for the efficient management of prebreeding programs using CWRs as a source of germplasm diversity and improvement. This article explains the various strategies for capturing and using alleles for climate resilience traits improvement. This article covers breeders’ perspectives on importance of using CWRs as germplasm source for crop improvement. This article also describes the availability of CWRs, characterization of new traits and the strategies to be applied for the identification and introduction of genes of interest in elite breeding lines and commercial varieties and hybrids of pearl millet.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Asia
Research Program : Genetic Gains
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pearl Millet, Germplasm, Nutrition
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets > Pearl Millet
Others > Food and Nutrition
Others > Germplasm
Depositing User: Mr Arun S
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2021 05:22
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2021 05:22
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/11703
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/csc2.20343
Acknowledgement: This work was undertaken as part of the initiative “AdaptingAgriculture to Climate Change: Collecting, Protecting and Preparing Crop Wild Relatives,” which is supported by the Government of Norway. The project is managed by the Global Crop Diversity Trust with the Millennium Seed Bank of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK, and implemented in partnership with national and international genebanks and plant breeding institutes around the world.
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