A pearl millet mapping population from a cross between ICMB841 and 863B was studied for DNA polymorphism to construct a genetic linkage map, and to map genomic regions associated with grain and stover yield, and aspects of drought tolerance. To identify genomic regions associated with these traits, mapping population testcrosses of 79 F3 progenies were evaluated under post-flowering drought stress conditions over 2 years and in the background of two elite testers. A significant genotype × drought stress treatment interaction was evident in the expression of grain and stover yield in drought environments and in the background of testers over the 2 years. As a result of this, genomic regions associated with grain and stover yield and the aspects of drought tolerance were also affected: some regions were more affected by the changes in the environments (i.e. severity and duration of drought stress) while others were commonly identified across the drought stress environments and tester background used. In most instances, both harvest index and panicle harvest index co-mapped with grain yield suggesting that increased drought tolerance and yield of pearl millet that mapped to these regions was achieved by increased partitioning of dry matter from stover to the grains. Drought stress treatments, years and testers interactions on genomic regions associated with grain and stover yield of pearl millet are discussed, particularly, in reference to genetic improvement of drought tolerance of this crop using marker-assisted selection.
Yadav, R.S.; Hash, C.T.; Bidinger, F.R.; Devos, K.M.; Howarth, C.J. Genomic regions associated with grain yield and aspects of post-flowering drought tolerance in pearl millet across stress environments and tester background. Euphytica (2004) 136 (3) 265-277. [DOI: 10.1023/B:EUPH.0000032711.34599.3a]