Breeding Strategies for Adaptation of Pearl Millet and Sorghum to Climate Variability and Change in West Africa

Haussmann, B I G and Rattunde, H F and Weltzien, E and Traore, P C S and et al, . (2012) Breeding Strategies for Adaptation of Pearl Millet and Sorghum to Climate Variability and Change in West Africa. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science. 13 p.. ISSN 1439-037x

PDF (Author Version Post-print) - Accepted Version
Download (687kB) | Preview
[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to ICRISAT users only

Download (427kB) | Request a copy


Semi-arid and subhumid West Africa is characterized by high inter-annual rainfall variability, with variable onset of the rainy season, somewhat more predictable endings, and drought or excess water occurrence at any time during the growing season. Climate change is predicted to increase this variability. This article summarizes options for plant breeders to enhance the adaptation of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum [L.] R. Br.) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor [L.] Moench) to climate variability in West Africa. Developing variety types with high degrees of heterozygosity and genetic heterogeneity for adaptation traits helps achieving better individual and population buffering capacity. Traits that potentially enhance adaptive phenotypic plasticity or yield stability in variable climates include photoperiod-sensitive flowering, plastic tillering, flooding tolerance, seedling heat tolerance and phosphorus efficiency. Farmer-participatory dynamic gene pool management using broad-based populations and diverse selection environments is useful to develop new diverse germplasm adapted to specific production constraints including climate variability. For sustainable productivity increase, improved cultivars should respond to farmer-adoptable soil fertility management and water harvesting techniques. Larger-scale, on-farm participatory testing will enable assessments of varietal performance under evolving climatic variability, provide perspective on needs and opportunities and enhance adoption. Strengthening seed systems will be required to achieve sustainable impacts.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: buffering; climate change and/or variability; dynamic gene pool management; heterogeneity; heterozygosity; phenotypic plasticity
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets
Mandate crops > Sorghum
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2012 10:37
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2018 03:47
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: The authors are grateful for the generous financial support from the German Ministry for Economic Collaboration and Development (ICRISAT-CODE-WA project) and from The McKnight Foundation (Dynamic genepool project). Thanks are extended to two anonymous reviewers for the enriching questions and suggestions on the manuscript. Dr. Heiko K. Parzies, co-author of this publication, very unexpectedly passed away in August 2011. His long-term scientific support to the West African cereal breeding programmes will always be remembered.
View Statistics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item