Pearl millet genome sequence provides a resource to improve agronomic traits in arid environments

Rajeev K. Varshney, Chengcheng Shi, Mahendar Thudi, Cedric Mariac, Jason Wallace , He Zhang, Arindam Ghatak, Palak Chaturvedi, Yusheng Zhao, Xiyin Wang, Abhishek Rathore, Jianping Wang, Rakesh Srivastava, Annapurna Chitikineni, Guangyi Fan, Somashekhar Punnuri, S.K. Gupta, Yong Jiang, Marie Couderc, Prasad BajajMohan A.V.S.K. Katta, Dev R Paudel, K.D. Mungra, Wenbin Chen, Karen R. Harris-Shultz, Vanika Garg, Neetin Desai, Dadakhalandar Doddamani, Ndjido Kane, Joann A. Conner, Sabarinath Subramaniam, Om Prakash Yadav, Cécile Berthouly-Salazard, Falalou Hamidu, Xinming Liang, Jeremy Clotault, Mame Codou Gueye, Ramanujulu Sunkar, Christian Dupuy, Francesca Sparvoli, Shifeng Cheng, R.S. Mahala, Bharat Singh, Rattan Yadav, Eric Lyons, Swapan K. Datta, C.Tom Hash, Katrien M. Devos, Edward Buckler, Jeffrey L. Bennetzen, Andrew H. Paterson, Peggy Ozias-Akins, Stefania Grando, Jun Wang, Jochen C. Reif, Wolfram Weckwerth, Xin Liu, Yves Vigouroux, Xun Xu, Trilochan Mohapatra, Bénédicte Rhoné, Philippe Cubry, Peng Qi, Hao Wang, Hari D. Upadhyaya

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Pearl millet [Cenchrus americanus (L.) Morrone] is a staple food for more than 90 million farmers in arid and semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa, India and South Asia. We report the ∼1.79 Gb draft whole genome sequence of reference genotype Tift 23D2B1-P1-P5, which contains an estimated 38,579 genes. We highlight the substantial enrichment for wax biosynthesis genes, which may contribute to heat and drought tolerance in this crop. We resequenced and analyzed 994 pearl millet lines, enabling insights into population structure, genetic diversity and domestication. We use these resequencing data to establish marker trait associations for genomic selection, to define heterotic pools, and to predict hybrid performance. We believe that these resources should empower researchers and breeders to improve this important staple crop.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-976
Number of pages8
JournalNature Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2017


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