Improving the quality of pearl millet residues for livestock

Published on 10 November 2010

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Start Date: 1 April 2004 | End Date: 31 December 2010


The  proposal addresses improvement of animal productivity in crop-livestock systems in India, using marker-assisted and conventional plant breeding to genetically increase the nutritive value of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) stover, the major component of ruminant diets in the production systems in the targeted research domain.The goal is to improve smallholder livestock production in arid and semi-arid production systems in India through the use of pearl millet hybrids with better inherent stover quality. The first project objective is to produce pearl millet hybrid parent lines with enhanced stover quality suitable for use in commercial hybrid seed production, by first identifying flanking markers for additional quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for stover quality traits known to predict animal performance with a high degree of accuracy, then transferring these to several selected hybrid seed parent maintainer lines by marker-assisted backcrossing. The second project objective is to determine the effects of individual stover quality QTLs, and combinations, in enhanced commercial hybrid parents, on in vitro stover quality and in vivo animal production. The final objective is to promote the use of improved parental lines to public and private seed companies.

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