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Gemenet D.C.,University of Hohenheim | Gemenet D.C.,Kenya Agricultural Research Institute | Tom C.T.,International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics Sahelian Center | Sy O.,Institute Senegalais Of Recherches Agricoles Isra Bambey | And 5 more authors.
Crop Science | Year: 2014

Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br] is a food security crop for millions living in drylands of Africa and Asia. Its production on acid sandy soils of the Sahel is limited by erratic rainfall and poor soil fertility, especially low P soils. We sought to elucidate the genetic variation in West and Central African landrace-derived inbred lines for grain yield under low P conditions, to determine their performance as inbred lines per se and in hybrid combinations, and to determine quantitative-genetic parameters to derive an appropriate breeding strategy to enhance grain yield under low P conditions. We evaluated a total of 155 landrace-derived inbred lines as well as their testcrosses in four locations during two years under two treatments, high P (HP; with P fertilization) and low P (LP; without P fertilization). Results revealed significant effects for genotypes, P-level, genotype × P-level, as well as genotype × environment interactions. Grain yield reductions under LP treatment ranged from 7.9 to 35.5%, and 11.2 to 60.9% for inbred lines and testcrosses respectively, with positive midparent heterosis averaging 43.5% under LP. We conclude that direct selection of testcrosses under LP is more effective and that indirect selection for testross performance from inbred line performance is not desirable. © Crop Science Society of America.


Pucher A.,University of Hohenheim | Sy O.,Senegalese Institute for Agricultural Research ISRA | Sanogo M.D.,Institute of Rural economics IER | Angarawai I.I.,Lake Chad Research Institute LCRI | And 6 more authors.
Field Crops Research | Year: 2016

Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.) is an important hybrid crop in India. However, to date limited pearl millet hybrid development has been undertaken in West Africa (WA), which is the center of pearl millet origin and diversity and where this crop is most important outside India. Using a diverse set of WA pearl millet germplasm, objectives of this study were to determine the superiority of population hybrids over open-pollinated varieties for agro-morphological and agronomic traits in WA pearl millet germplasm; and (ii) to derive strategies for pearl millet hybrid breeding in WA, based on quantitative-genetic parameters, combining ability and heterotic patterns among geographically close versus distant pearl millet populations. A 10 × 10 factorial mating design was performed with four parental OPVs from each of five WA countries. The 100 population hybrids and their parents were tested for 14 traits at six locations in one year, thereby using contrasting locations to indirectly sample the rainfall variability inherent to WA pearl millet production environments. Grain yield showed an average panmictic midparent heterosis (PMpH) of 16.7%, ranging from −26 to 73%. The mean grain yield of hybrids based on inter-country crosses did not differ significantly from intra-country crosses. Geographic distance between parents was positively correlated with hybrid grain yield (r = 0.31), but not with PMpH . Some crosses between accessions from Niger/Nigeria and Senegal were outstanding. Predictability of population hybrid performance for grain yield was moderate based on midparent values (r = 0.43) and slightly better based on general combining ability (GCA) (r = 0.56). Overall, pearl millet hybrid breeding in WA seems very promising, but there do not seem to be clear “natural” heterotic groups among WA pearl millet landraces. Such heterotic groups as the basis of sustainable hybrid breeding need rather to be created systematically, by building on existing combining ability patterns and aiming to maximize combining ability between the groups. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Gemenet D.C.,University of Hohenheim | Gemenet D.C.,Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization | Beggi F.,University of Kassel | Hash C.T.,International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics Sahelian Center | And 6 more authors.
Plant and Soil | Year: 2015

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. © 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland


Gemenet D.C.,University of Hohenheim | Gemenet D.C.,Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization | Leiser W.L.,University of Hohenheim | Zangre R.G.,Institute Of Lenvironnement Et Of Recherches Agricoles Inera | And 6 more authors.
Molecular Breeding | Year: 2015

Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.] is a food security crop in the harshest agricultural regions of the world. While low soil phosphorus (P) availability is a big constraint on its production, especially in West Africa (WA), information on genomic regions responsible for low-P tolerance in pearl millet is generally lacking. We present the first report on genetic polymorphisms underlying several plant P-related parameters, flowering time (FLO) and grain yield (GY) under P-limiting conditions based on 285 diversity array technology markers and 151 West African pearl millet inbred lines phenotyped in six environments in WA under both high-P and low-P conditions. Nine markers were significantly associated with P-related traits, nine markers were associated with FLO, whereas 13 markers were associated with GY each explaining between 5.5 and 15.9 % of the observed variation. Both constitutive and adaptive associations were observed for FLO and GY, with markers PgPb11603 and PgPb12954 being associated with the most stable effects on FLO and GY, respectively, across locations. There were a few shared polymorphisms between traits, especially P-efficiency-related traits and GY, implying possible colocation of genomic regions responsible for these traits. Our findings help bridge the gap between quantitative and molecular methods of studying complex traits like low-P tolerance in WA. However, validation of these markers is necessary to determine their potential applicability in marker-assisted selection programs targeting low-P environments, which are especially important in WA where resource-poor farmers are expected to be the hardest hit by the approaching global P crisis. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Sharma P.C.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute | Singh D.,Indian Central Soil Salinity Research Institute | Sehgal D.,Aberystwyth University | Sehgal D.,International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center | And 4 more authors.
Environmental and Experimental Botany | Year: 2014

Earlier, we established that a major drought tolerance QTL on linkage group 2 of pearl millet is also associated with reduced salt uptake and enhanced growth under salt stress. Present study was undertaken to re-assess the performance of drought tolerant (PRLT 2/89-33) and drought sensitive (H 77/833-2) parents along with two QTL-NILs (ICMR 01029 and ICMR 01040), under salinity stress specifically imposed during post-flowering growth stages when plants had developed their ion sinks in full. Time course changes in ionic accumulation and their compartmentalization in different plant parts was studied, specifically to monitor and capture changes conferred by the two alleles at this QTL, at small intervals. Amongst different plant parts, higher accumulation of toxic ion Na+ was recorded in roots. Further, the Na+ concentration in roots of the testcross hybrid of the drought-sensitive parent (H 77/833-2) reached its maximum at ECiw 15dSm-1 within 24h after salinity imposition, whereas it continued to increase with time in the testcross hybrids of the drought tolerant parent PRLT 2/89-33 as well as those of its QTL-NILs (ICMR 01029 and ICMR 01004) and reached at its maximum at 120h stage. Comparison of differential distribution of toxic ions in individual leaves revealed that Na+ ions were not uniformly distributed in the leaves of the drought-tolerant parent and drought-tolerant QTL-NILs; but accumulated preferentially in the older leaves, whereas the hybrid of the drought-sensitive parent showed significantly higher Na+ concentration in all main stem leaves irrespective of their age. Dynamics of chlorophyll and proline concentration variation studied under salt stress at late flowering stages revealed a greater reduction, almost twice, in both leaf chlorophyll and proline concentrations in younger leaves in the hybrids of the sensitive parent as compared to the tolerant parent and QTL NILs. Imposition of salinity stress even at flowering stage affected the yield performance in pearl millet, wherein higher yield was recorded in drought tolerant parent and the two QTL-NILs compared to drought sensitive parent. © 2014 The Authors.

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