Pearl Millet: Genetic Improvement for Tolerance to Abiotic Stresses

Yadav, O P and Rai, K N and Gupta, S K (2012) Pearl Millet: Genetic Improvement for Tolerance to Abiotic Stresses. In: Improving Crop Productivity in Sustainable Agriculture. Wiley Blackwell, pp. 261-268. ISBN 978-3-527-33242-7

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Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is an important cereal grown in adverse agroclimatic conditions where other crops fail to produce economic yields. Because of the cultivation of pearl millet mairily in rainfed production systems of arid and' semiarid regions, drought is a primary constraint in its cultivation. In addition, high temperatures and salinity are emerging as new challenges in pearl millet cultivation in specific production environments. TIlls chapter reviews the research dealing with improvement in drought tolerance of pearl millet and also updates the progress made in improving high temperature and salinity tolerance. Response of pearl millet to moisture stress at various growth stages has clearly established that yield losses are maximum when moisture stress coincides with grain filling stage, which is commonly referred to as terminal water stress. Various physiological and morphological traits have been examined as alternative selection criteria to further enhance tolerance to terminal drought. Conventional approaches to improve drought tolerance in pearl millet have a very short history and attemRts have met .' with some success. Various novel approaches have been attempted in pearl millet for enhancing yield under drought environments. These include use of adapted germplasm, genetic diversification of adapted 1andraces through introgression of suitable elite genetic material, and exploitation of heterosis to amalgamate drought tolerance and high yield. Molecular breeding is fast emerging as, a supplement approach to enhance drought adaptation at a faster rate with greater precision. Molecular marker-based genetic linkage maps of pearl millet are available and genomic regions determining yield under drought environments have been identified preparing a road map for marker-assisted selection. Genetic differences in tolerance to salinity and high temperature at both seedling and grain filling stages have been established and screening techniques standardized. The germplasm and breeding material with a higher degree of tolerance to high temperature and salinity have been identified in order to use them in breeding programs.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Abiotic Stresses, Genetic Improvement, Semi-Arid Regions, Drought
Subjects: Mandate crops > Millets
Others > Genetics and Genomics
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2012 06:19
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2012 06:19
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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