Screening of Pearl Millet Genotypes Suitable for Drought Tolerance at Early Seedling Stage
Submitted Date : 27-11-2020
Accepted Date : 4-03-2021
Background: Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) Br.] is the most widely grown staple food of majority of poor and small land holders in Asia and Africa. It is also consumed as feed and fodder for livestock. It is the sixth most important cereal crop in the world next to maize, rice wheat, barley and sorghum. The temperature is one of the key climatic factors and has profound effect on the growth and development of the pearl millet. It can only be managed through developing hybrid varieties which can tolerate high temperature during germination and early seedling stages.The present study aimed to identify drought tolerant genotypes of pearl millet at seedling stage.
Methods: This experiment was carried out at Mandor during kharif 2018 with five selected pearl millet advanced hybrids MH 2192, MH 2224, MH 2228, MH 2354 and MH 2359 along with three checks RHB 177, MPMH 17 and 86M86 which were tested under polyethylene glycol (PEG) (5% and 10%) induced osmotic stress. Various physiological parameters were recorded 15 days after sowing and statistical analysis made using Windostat software.
Result: The results revealed that shoot length, seedling dry weight, relative water content, membrane stability index and chlorophyll content decreased significantly with PEG induced water stress in all the hybrids while root length and catalase activity increased significantly under water stress. Among 5 hybrids, two hybrids viz. MH 2359 and MH 2354 performed better and found to be superior under PEG induced water stress. Thus, various drought tolerance indices may further be studied for these two hybrids and can be used in development of drought tolerant genotypes which may prove helpful for crop improvement programs of pearl millet.