Indian Society of Genetics & Plant Breeding

Male-sterile seed parents for the breeding of landrace-based topcross hybrids of pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Sr.] for the arid zone II. Downy mildew resistance, terminal drought tolerance

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In the first part of this study, topcross hybrids (TCHs)
of pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Sr.] based on
landrace pollinator showed a clear advantage in stability
of grain and stover yields, compared to their pollinator,
in arid zone environments. In this part of study, TCHs
were evaluated for additional traits viz., downy mildew
resistance, terminal drought tolerance, individual yield
components and potential productivity in order to identify
male-sterile (A) lines that would enhance the performance
of TCHs in comparison to that of their landrace topcross
pollinator (TCP). Downy mildew incidence in TCHs ranged
from 0% to 60%: several A-lines (841 A, ICMA 88004, ICMA
91333, ICMA 92666, leMA 94111, ICMA 97333 and RMS
3A) produced hybrids resistant to all three downy mildew
pathotypes. Many A-lines produced TCHs which had
positive drought response index (DRI) and hybrids based
on sixteen of the A-lines tested were significantly better
than their pollinator in their ability to set and fill grain
under stress conditions at Patancheru. None of the A-lines
produced TCH with significantly better tillering than
ERajPop, but ten of the TCHs had tillering at par with
TCP. The majority of hybrids were significantly superior
to their TCP for grain size, but this advantage was offset
by significantly lower grain number panicle-1 in two-thirds
of the TCHs. Eight of the TCHs had significantly greater
growth rates, and consequently greater biomass, grain
and/or stover yields than the TCP under high input
conditions designed to assess potential productivity.
Fertility restoration was adequate for the TCH of all A-lines
except ICMA 90111 and ICMA 95333. Thus there are a
number of opportunities to retain, in the TCH, favourable
traits in the TCP and to improve less favourable ones as

Keywords: Penn/setum glaucum, pearl millet, disease resistance, drought tolerance, yield components, growth rate.


Year: 2003
Volume: 63
Issue: 2
Article DOI: NA
Print ISSN: 0019-5200
Online ISSN: 0975-6906



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