Combining ability studies of grain Fe and Zn contents of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) in West Africa

Gaoh, B S B and Gangashetty, P I and Mohammed, R and Ango, I K and Dzidzienyo, D K and Tongoona, P and Govindaraj, M (2023) Combining ability studies of grain Fe and Zn contents of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) in West Africa. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13. 01-17. ISSN 1664-462X

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Micronutrient malnutrition is a major challenge in Africa, where half a million children die each year because of lack of micronutrients in their food. Pearl millet is an important food and fodder crop for the people living in the Semi-Arid regions of West Africa. The present study was conducted to determine the stability, combining ability, and gene action conditions of the high level of Fe and Zn content in grain and selected agronomic traits. Hence, eight genotypes were selected based on the availability of grain Fe and Zn contents and crossed in a full diallel mating design. Progenies from an 8 × 8 diallel mating along with the parents were evaluated in an alpha lattice design with three replications in three locations for two years. The parental lines Jirani, LCIC 9702 and MORO, had positive significant general combining ability (GCA) effects for grain Fe concentration, while Jirani and MORO had positive significant GCA effects for grain Zn concentration. For the specific combining ability (SCA), among the 56 hybrids evaluated, only the hybrids LCIC 9702 × Jirani and MORO × ZANGO had positive significant SCA effects for grain Fe concentration across locations, and for grain Zn concentration, the hybrids Gamoji × MORO, LCIC 9702 × Jirani, and ICMV 167006 × Jirani had positive significant SCA effects. The reciprocal effects were significant for grain Zn concentration, grain yield, flowering time, plant height, test weight, and downy mildew incidence, suggesting that the choice of a female or male parent is critical in hybrid production. Grain Fe and Zn concentration, flowering time, plant height, panicle length, panicle girth, panicle compactness, and downy mildew incidence were found to be predominantly under additive gene action, while grain yield and test weight were predominantly under non-additive gene action. A highly positive correlation was found between grain Fe and Zn concentrations, which implies that improving grain Fe trait automatically improves the grain Zn content. The stability analysis revealed that the hybrid ICMV 167006 × Jirani was the most stable and high-yielding with a high level of grain Fe and Zn micronutrients.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Global Research Program - Accelerated Crop Improvement
Research Program : West & Central Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pennisetumglaucum L., micronutrient malnutrition, combining ability, biofortification, grain Fe and Zn, diallel analysis
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets > Pearl Millet
Others > West Africa
Depositing User: Mr Nagaraju T
Date Deposited: 12 May 2023 03:30
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 03:30
Official URL:
Funders: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), ECONET (Strive Masiyiwa) funding, HarvestPlus Challenge Program, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Acknowledgement: The authors thank colleagues from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT), ICRISAT Sahelian Center, Sadoré-Niger, and collaborators from INRAN (National agricultural research institutes in Niger) in Tara (Mr. Djibo and his team).
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