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Crossability of pearl millet with wild Pennisetum species

Dujardin, M., Hanna, W.W.
Crop science 1989 v.29 no.1 pp. 77-80
Pennisetum, Pennisetum setaceum, Pennisetum pedicellatum, Pennisetum polystachion, interspecific hybridization, diploidy, tetraploidy, hybrids, plant fertility, genome, Pennisetum glaucum, Pennisetum orientale, Pennisetum squamulatum, Pennisetum macrourum
Wild relatives of cultivated species have genes that potentially could be used to improve crop cultivars. The objective of this research was to study the crossability of eight wild Pennisetum species with diploid and tetraploid pearl millet, P. glaucum (L.) R. Br. Twenty and 28 interspecific hybrids, respectively, were produced between diploid (2n = 14) pearl millet and P. orientale L. C. Rich. (2n = 36), and P. setaceum (Forssk.) Chiov. (2n = 27). Only three hybrids were produced between tetraploid (2n = 28) pearl millet and P. orientale. Three hundred thirty-seven interspecific hybrids were produced when tetraploid pearl millet was pollinated with P. squamulatum Fresen., but no hybrids were produced when diploid pearl millet wa s used as the female parent. No interspecific hybrids were produced between diploid or tetraploid pearl millet crossed with P. ramosum (Hoschst.) Schweinf. (2n = 10), P. mezianum Leeke (2n = 32), P. macrourum Trin. (2n = 36), P. pedicellatum Trin. (2n = 54), and P. polystachion (L.) Schult. (2n = 54). Fertility of pearl millet X P. squamulatum hybrids indicated partial homology between the pearl millet A genome and one or more genomes of P. squamulatum.