African Journal of Plant Breeding

African Journal of Plant Breeding ISSN: 2375-074X Vol. 10 (3), pp. 001-010, March, 2023. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Resistance of pearl millet hybrids to four isolates of downy mildew (Sclerospora graminicola (Sacc.) Shroet.) collected in Niger

Issaka Ahmadou1,2*, Ofori Kwadwo2, Gracen Edward Vernon2,3, Danquah Yirenkyi Eric2

1West African Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana Legon, Accra, Ghana / Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN), Niger.

2West African Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana Legon, Accra, Ghana (O.K), (D.Y.E).

3West African Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana Legon – Accra, Ghana / Cornell University Ithaca / USA

Accepted 10 February, 2023 


Pearl millet is the only reliable source of food for many of the people living in the arid zones of India and Africa. Downy mildew is the most calamitous disease of pearl millet. Resistance to the pathogen is required to guarantee a stable harvest. Eight OPVs were used to generate 16 variety-cross hybrids during the 2012’s dry season in the INRAN station of Kollo. Pot-grown seedlings of parents, hybrids and checks were inoculated with 4 isolates of Sclerospora graminicola under glass house conditions at ICRISAT Centre in Sadoré. The isolates collected from different fields in Niger were not different from each other. The isolate from Maradi showed the highest level of pathogenicity. Twelve hybrids and six parents were resistant over the 4 isolates with a mean disease incidence less than 10%. Souna-3 and HKB showed the lowest GCA for the disease incidence. The hybrids Ankoutess x Souna-3 and Moro x HKP-GMS had the best SCA for disease resistance. There was a prevalence of additive gene action in terms of the inheritance of the resistance, also affected by epistatic effects. The resistant parents will be used for further pearl millet breeding activities.

Keywords: Pearl millet, hybrid, downy mildew, isolate, disease resistance, GCA, SCA.

Abbreviations: OPV: open-pollinated variety, GCA: general combining ability, SCA: specific combining ability, ANOVA: analysis of variance, ICRISAT: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, NARS: National Agricultural Research System, BP: Before Present, DM: downy mildew.