Grain Millet, Early Grain Fill, Tifton, 7 3 02

Indian and French scientists decode pearl millet genome with positive implication for food security

In a study published in Nature Biotechnology, a team of scientists including from International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India, and Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), France, detail how the pearl millet (bajra in Hindi) can survive scorching heat.

The international team decoded the genome of the pearl millet variety (Cenchrus americanus (L.) Morrone) that grows in semi-arid climates, thanks to its ability to survive temperatures up to 42 degrees Celsius. This cereal has great nutritious value and provides essential nutrients, including iron.

Using latest technologies in DNA sequencing, the scientists identified key molecular markers relative to drought, heat, or pests resistance. Their results pave the way for renewed research on this variety that could increase yields and provide instrumental in improving food security for people living in semi-arid regions of Asia and Africa.

Read more on the website of ICRISAT here.

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