Development of downy mildew resistant maintainer inbreds (B lines) of Pearl millet for Arid environment
AbstractDeveloping early maturing downy mildew resistant male sterile lines of pearl millet, which are also well adapted to the
harsh climatic conditions of western Rajasthan, forms an important aspect of the pearl millet breeding programme. To
achieve this goal crosses were made among 18 maintainer lines (B lines) suitable for this region. Eighteen crosses
found resistant to downy mildew were selfed to obtain F2 populations. These F2 populations were evaluated for downy
mildew disease at the Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur. Disease incidence among populations ranged
from 0 to 82% with mean downy mildew incidence of 41% and coefficient of variability 61%. F2 population resulting
form the cross ICMB 95444 x ICMB 93333 was free from downy mildew followed by ICMB 95111 x ICMB 93333,
which showed only 6% downy mildew incidence. Five hundred and ninety three F3 progenies were selected from these
F2 populations. Further evaluation of these F3 progenies against Jodhpur pathotype of downy mildew revealed that
selections from segregating populations of crosses ICMB 95444 x ICMB 94555 gave maximum number (35) of
resistant progenies. It was observed that F2 populations showing higher disease incidence produced less number of
resistant F3 progenies, also disease resistant selections made in the F2 populations continued to show downy mildew
resistance in the F3 generation. This showed that selection for disease resistance was effective in the F2 populations.
The resistant F3 progenies were carried forward by pedigree breeding to F6 and are being utilized in backcrossing for
developing new male sterile lines of pearl millet for this region.
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