Yield and Quality of Early and Late-Maturing, Near-Isogenic Populations of Pearl Millet
- Glenn W. Burton,
- Joel B. Gunnells and
- R. S. Lowrey
Duplicate early and late near-isogenic populations of three pearl millet (Pennisetum typhoides (Burm.) Stapf and C. E. Hubb.) hybrids were cut at 2-, 4-, 6-, and 8-week intervals for 24 weeks to ascertain the effect of maturity on forage yield and quality. Equal quantities of selfed seed from 50 of the earliest F2 plants from each early ✕ late hybrid were mixed to make seed for each early population. Its duplicate was prepared from seed from 50 other early F2 plants. The late near-isogenic populations were prepared by mixing selfed seed from 50 of the latest-maturing F2 plants of each cross. Early populations reached anthesis 24 to 25 days earlier than late populations. The similar response of duplicate populations furnished evidence that early and late populations were near-isogenic except for maturity genes and linkage effects. Late populations outyielded early ones by 9% when cut at 2-week intervals and 19% when cut at 8-week intervals. Late populations gave a better seasonal distribution of forage, were easier to manage, were more persistent, were leafier, were higher in protein content, and were more digestible (nylon-bag technique) than early ones. These results indicate that a millet reaching anthesis in 78 days will make a better forage crop than one maturing in 53 days.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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