Performance of pearl millet hybrids under arid conditions

  • V.K. Manga, and Arun Kumar
Keywords: Pearl millet, Pennisetum glaucum, Hybrids, Arid conditions


Sixteen male-sterile lines of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.) found promising at CAZRI, Jodhpur were crossed with nine diverse restorers from different sources in this region, in a line x tester fashion to develop 144 hybrid combinations, with the objective to identify suitable A lines, R lines and hybrid combinations for arid Rajasthan. These hybrids were evaluated at three different locations in western Rajasthan (Tinwari, Pali and Jodhpur) during the rainy season of 2003. Eighteen promising hybrids based upon their performance over locations during 2003, were again evaluated in larger plots during the rainy season of 2004. Considering grain yield over all the five locations during the two seasons 2003 and 2004, ten high yielding hybrids were identified. Among these hybrids grain yield ranged from 1932 kg/ha to 2293 kg/ha, and flowering time from 43 to 48 days. The highest yielding hybrid was ICMA 96111 x RIB-3135-18 followed by ICMA 98333 x RIB-3135-18, ICMA 98222 x CZI 9621, ICMA 98004 x RIB-3135-18, ICMA 97555 x RIB-3135-18 and ICMA 95555 x H 77/833-2. It was observed that the restorer lines RIB-3135-18, CZI 9621, H77/833-2, CZI 1676-2, MIR 97171 and ICMR 356 gave high yielding hybrids. Similarly male sterile lines, ICMA 98222, ICMA 97555 and ICMA 98004 were involved in promising hybrid combinations. The hybrid ICMA 98222 x CZI 9621, which was one of the top five high yielding hybrids, ranked first in a multilocation trial conducted during the rainy season of 2005, at Jodhpur, Bawal, Durgapura and Bikaner, representing extreme arid conditions. This hybrid again recorded 12.8% and 6.6% higher grain yield over national checks GHB 538 and ICMH 356 respectively in Initial hybrid trial 2007, and was promoted to the Advance Hybrid and Population Trial for Kharif 2008.
Research Article