Towards defining heterotic gene pools using SSR markers in pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.]

Radhika Ramya, Lal Ahmed M, C. Tara Satyavathi, Abhishek Rathore, Pooja Katiyar, Bhaskar Raj, Sushil Kumar, Rajeev Gupta, Mahesh Mahendarkar, Rattan Yadav, Rakesh Srivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (SciVal)
136 Downloads (Pure)


Pearl millet is a climate resilient crop and one of the most widely grown millets worldwide. Heterotic hybrid development is one of the principal breeding objectives in pearl millet. In a maiden attempt to identify heterotic groups for grain yield, a total of 343 hybrid parental [maintainer (B-) and restorer (R-)] lines were genotyped with 88 polymorphic SSR markers. The SSRs generated a total of 532 alleles with a mean value of 6.05 alleles per locus, mean gene diversity of 0.55, and an average PIC of 0.50. Out of 532 alleles, 443 (83.27%) alleles were contributed by B-lines with a mean of 5.03 alleles per locus. R-lines contributed 476 alleles (89.47%) with a mean of 5.41, while 441 (82.89%) alleles were shared commonly between B- and R-lines. The gene diversity was higher among R-lines (0.55) compared to B-lines (0.49). The unweighted neighbor-joining tree based on simple matching dissimilarity matrix obtained from SSR data clearly differentiated B- lines into 10 sub-clusters (B1 through B10), and R- lines into 11 sub-clusters (R1 through R11). A total of 99 hybrids (generated by crossing representative 9 B- and 11 R- lines) along with checks were evaluated in the hybrid trial. The 20 parents were evaluated in the line trial. Both the trials were evaluated in three environments. Based on per se performance, high sca effects and standard heterosis, F1s generated from crosses between representatives of groups B10R5, B3R5, B3R6, B4UD, B5R11, B2R4, and B9R9 had high specific combining ability for grain yield compared to rest of the crosses. These groups may represent putative heterotic gene pools in pearl millet.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1934
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Publication statusPublished - 02 Mar 2018


  • pearl millet
  • B- (maintainer)
  • R- (restorer)
  • SSR (simple sequence repear) markers
  • gene diversity
  • PIC (Polymorphic information content)
  • heterotic groups


Dive into the research topics of 'Towards defining heterotic gene pools using SSR markers in pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.]'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this