Pearl Millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) Breeding for Adaptation and Performance Under Drought Condition: Review

Dawit Merga


Drought stress is one of abiotic factor that threat crops economic part directly and indirectly; hence, result great yield losses in the world and become predominant cause for food security problem especially in developing countries. Pear millet is staple food crop used in different countries. It is widely produced around drought-prone arid and semi-arid regions where inter and intera seasonal rainfall variation of the areas become bottleneck for pear millet production. Thus, the current review conducted to understand pearl millet breeding for adaptation and performance under drought condition. From gene point of view crops drought resistance mechanism grouped in to drought escape, drought avoidance and drought tolerance. In all these three mechanisms crops express different control characteristics to overcome drought stress problem. Plants can use more than one mechanisms at same time based on regulators gene they posses for drought tolerance. Pear millet has huge noble traits such as rapid phonological development (early flowering which enables to escape), plasticity growth characteristics (tillering), deep and wider spread root growth and high water use efficiency those attribute for its adaptation and performance under drought stress. Both conventional and molecular breeding methods had being utilized and also currently under utilization for pear millet improvement for drought tolerance. Better performing genotypes selection and hybridization done conventionally and crosses were showed 66% heterosis over best parents in grain yield under stress; whereas marker assisted selection of QTL used for transfer of drought tolerant gene from drought tolerant genotype to drought susceptible genotype but, has good agronomic performance done using molecular breeding method. Hence, over 30% high yielders variety developed for drought threatens environments.

Keywords: Breeding method, drought stress, early flowering, Pear millet and tiller

DOI: 10.7176/JEES/10-4-01

Publication date: April 30th 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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