Project Details

Reference genome sequence for pearl millet [A high quality reference genome sequence of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) for accelerated breeding of improved cultivars]

Duration: 09/Apr/2013 - 30/Apr/2014

Locations: Asia / Eastern and Southern Africa / West and Central Africa

Donor: Foundation or Trust,Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-USA

CGIAR Research Program: Dryland Cereals

Pearl millet can be considered as “neglected” compared to rice, maize, wheat, barley or sorghum, for which there is a much larger global scientific community at work. In order for producers and consumers of this dryland cereal to benefit from recent technological advances in genetics and plant breeding, it is essential that minimum genomic tool kits be developed for this crop.

With the objective of developing ample genomic resources for enhancing breeding efficiency, this project has brought together several leading groups in pearl millet genomics and breeding including ICRISAT, IRD in France, Aberystwyth University (IBERS) in the UK, the University of Georgia and University of Florida in the USA and the Pioneer Overseas Corporation to generate a high-quality draft genome of pearl millet. Tift 23D2B1, the global reference genotype and an important ancestral genotype of many seed parents of pearl millet hybrids in use for forage and grain in the USA as well as dual-purpose hybrids in India, has been chosen for developing the draft genome sequence. genetics and breeding community. A workshop will be conducted at the end of the project to disseminate the generated information and educate the pearl millet community in using the genome sequence in advancing genetics research and breeding applications by using modern approaches, such as genotyping by sequencing (GBS), genome wide association studies (GWAS) and genomic selection (GS) in addition to strengthening marker-assisted selection (MAS) programs.

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