Exploration of millet models for developing nutrient rich graminaceous crops

Mehanathan Muthamilarasana, Annvi Dhakaa, Rattan Yadav, Manoj Prasad

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Protein-energy malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies contribute to high mortality among considerable proportion of the current 7.2 billion global populations, especially children. Although poverty and diets poor in nutrition are prime reasons for prevalence of malnutrition, nutritionally dense crops offer an inexpensive and sustainable solution to the problem of malnutrition. Remarkably, millets are nutritionally superior to major non-millet cereals. They especially are rich in dietary fibers, antioxidants, phytochemicals and polyphenols, which contribute broad-spectrum positive impacts to human health. However, millets have received lesser research attention universally, and considering this, the present review was planned to summarize the reports available on nutrition profile of millets and non-millet cereals to provide a comparative insight on importance of millets. It also emphasizes the need for research on deciphering nutritional traits present in millets and to develop strategies for introgressing these traits into other conventional staple crops using germplasm and 'omics' technologies. In some millet species, excellent 'omics' and germplasm panels have started to get available which can act as a starting point for understanding as well as of introgressing healthful traits across millets and non-millet cereals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Science
Early online date11 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2016


  • Food security
  • Genomics
  • Gramineae
  • Millets
  • Nutrition


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