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Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 104, Issue 1, pp 67–83 | Cite as

Quantitative trait loci associated with traits determining grain and stover yield in pearl millet under terminal drought-stress conditions

  • R. S. Yadav
  • C. T. Hash
  • F. R. Bidinger
  • G. P. Cavan
  • C. J. Howarth

Abstract  

Drought stress during the reproductive stage is one of the most important environmental factors reducing the grain yield and yield stability of pearl millet. A QTL mapping approach has been used in this study to understand the genetic and physiological basis of drought tolerance in pearl millet and to provide a more-targeted approach to improving the drought tolerance and yield of this crop in water-limited environments. The aim was to identify specific genomic regions associated with the enhanced tolerance of pearl millet to drought stress during the flowering and grain-filling stages. Testcrosses of a set of mapping-population progenies, derived from a cross of two inbred pollinators that differed in their response to drought, were evaluated in a range of managed terminal drought-stress environments. A number of genomic regions were associated with drought tolerance in terms of both grain yield and its components. For example, a QTL associated with grain yield per se and for the drought tolerance of grain yield mapped on linkage group 2 and explained up to 23% of the phenotypic variation. Some of these QTLs were common across stress environments whereas others were specific to only a particular stress environment. All the QTLs that contributed to increased drought tolerance did so either through better than average maintenance (compared to non-stress environments) of harvest index, or harvest index and biomass productivity. It is concluded that there is considerable potential for marker-assisted backcross transfer of selected QTLs to the elite parent of the mapping population and for their general use in the improvement of pearl millet productivity in water-limited environments.

Keywords Pearl millet Drought tolerance Grain yield Quantitative trait loci Genetic mapping Marker-assisted selection 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. S. Yadav
    • 1
  • C. T. Hash
    • 2
  • F. R. Bidinger
    • 2
  • G. P. Cavan
    • 1
  • C. J. Howarth
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research (IGER), Plas Gogerddan, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY233 EB, Wales, United Kingdom e-mail: rattan.yadav@bbsrc.ac.uk Fax: +44-1970-823242, Present address: G.P. Cavan, 11 Albany Rd, Old Windsor, Berkshire SL4 2QD, United KingdomGB
  2. 2.International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru 502 324, Andhra Pradesh, IndiaIN

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