Diversity in pearl millet germplasm from Cameroon

Abstract

Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L). R. Br.] (syn. P. americanum (L.) Leeke) germplasm from Cameroon was collected jointly by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the National Cereals Research and Extension Project (NCRE)/Institute of Agronomic Research (IAR), Maroua, Cameroon. Of the 1261 samples collected, 888 are pearl millet and 12 wild relatives of Pennisetums. A total of 918 accessions of pearl millet were evaluated during rainy and postrainy seasons at ICRISAT Asia Center (IAC), Patancheru, India, and 748 at Maroua, Cameroon. Considerable variation was observed for all the characters studies. At IAC, Patancheru, time to flower varied from 56 to 146 days with a mean of 114±0.62 days during the rainy and 46 to 128 days with a mean of 67±0.28 days during the postrainy season. At Maroua, the flowering time ranged from 49 to 112 days with a mean of 81±0.34 days. Plant height ranged from 230 to 450 cm with a mean of 353±1.52 cm. Spike and grain characters were more stable compared to flowering and plant height. The expression of spike characters was comparable to evaluation in postrainy season at IAC, Patancheru. In Cameroon, farmers classify pearl millet as Yadiri and Mouri, which vary for plant canopy, spike and grain characters. Mouri matures in about 95–110 days, extensively grown in the low rainfall areas of Extreme North province. Yadiri matures in 120–140 days, generally grown in the high rainfall areas of the North, Adamaoua provinces, and on the hill slopes of Extreme North province. Millet germplasm from Cameroon is a good source for more number of productive tillers, large compact spikes, and larger ivory and cream colored grain besides its potential for forage.

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Submitted as ICRISAT Journal Article No. 1803.

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Rao, S.A., Mengesha, M.H. & Reddy, K.N. Diversity in pearl millet germplasm from Cameroon. Genet Resour Crop Evol 43, 173–178 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00126761

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Key words

  • Pennisetum glaucum
  • collecting
  • landraces
  • wild relatives
  • diversity
  • variation
  • characterization
  • adaptation
  • pearl millet