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Commercial viability of alternative cytoplasmic-nuclear male-sterility systems in pearl millet

Abstract

Commercial viability of three cytoplasmic-nuclear male sterility (CMS) systems (A4, A5 and Av) as potential alternatives to the most widely used A1 system in pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.Br.) was evaluated in terms of stability of complete male sterility of four isonuclear A-lines (81A1, 81A4, 81A5 and 81Av) and the level and stability of male fertility restoration of their 44 single-cross hybrids. Lines 81A4 and 81A5 had no pollen shedders (PS), and there were very low frequency of non-PS plants of these A-lines that had a maximum of 1–5% selfed seedset (SSS). In 81A1 and 81Av,there were, albeit low frequency (<1%) of PS plants, and relatively higher frequency of the non-PS plants in these two lines, the more so in 81Av,had 1–5% and even greater SSS. Some hybrids made on each of the three A-lines (81A1, 81A4 and 81Av) had high and stable male fertility, while others made on the same three A-lines displayed large variation in SSS across the environments, the more so in case of hybrids made on 81Av. These results indicate that the A4 CMS system provides a better alternative to the A1 CMS system, while the Av system does not. On the basis of highly stable male sterility and the highest frequency of pollinators behaving as maintainers, the A5 CMS system appeared to be the best for A-line breeding. The commercial viability of this CMS system in breeding R-lines of grain hybrids, however, still remains to be ascertained as no hybrid on it was fully male fertile in any environment.

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Rai, K., Anand Kumar, K., Andrews, D. et al. Commercial viability of alternative cytoplasmic-nuclear male-sterility systems in pearl millet. Euphytica 121, 107–114 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1012039720538

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  • CMS systems
  • cytoplasmic-nuclear male sterility
  • fertility restoration
  • pearl millet
  • Pennisetum glaucum