Interspecific Hybrid between Echinochloa esculenta (Japanese barnyard millet) and E. frumentacea (Indian barnyard millet) – A New Avenue for Genetic Enhancement of Barnyard Millet

  • Salej Sood*, R. K. Khulbe, Navinder Saini, Arun Gupta and P. K. Agrawal
Keywords: Barnyard millet, hybrid sterility, SSR cross-transferability


Inter-specific hybridization between the two cultivated species of barnyard millet, Echinochloa frumentacea (Indian barnyard millet) and E. esculenta (Japanese barnyard millet) holds enormous potential for their mutual genetic enhancement. Here, we report the success in obtaining inter-specific hybrid between E. esculenta and E. frumentacea involving cultivars PRJ 1 and ER 72 of the two species, respectively. The hybridity of F1 plants was confirmed through rice SSR (Simple Sequence Repeat) markers. The hybrid plants of the cross PRJ 1 x ER 72 were vigorous, heavily tillered with high culm branching and were free from grain smut disease but failed to set seed due to sterility. Successful hybridization between the two species opens up vast avenues for introgression of desirable traits and exploitation of genetic variability present in the two species for their mutual genetic improvement, besides a wide array of conventional and genomic researches particularly dissection of traits such as yield and disease resistance.
Research Note