Genomic Approaches to Enhance Stress Tolerance for Productivity Improvements in Pearl Millet

  • Srikanth Bollam
  • Vijayalakshmi Pujarula
  • Rakesh K. SrivastavaEmail author
  • Rajeev GuptaEmail author


Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.], the sixth most important cereal crop (after rice, wheat, maize, barley, and sorghum), is grown as a grain and stover crop by the small holder farmers in the harshest cropping environments of the arid and semiarid tropical regions of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Millet is grown on ~31 million hectares globally with India in South Asia; Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali in western and central Africa; and Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania in Eastern Africa as the major producers. Pearl millet provides food and nutritional security to more than 500 million of the world’s poorest and most nutritionally insecure people. Global pearl millet production has increased over the past 15 years, primarily due to availability of improved genetics and adoption of hybrids in India and expanding area under pearl millet production in West Africa. Pearl millet production is challenged by various biotic and abiotic stresses resulting in a significant reduction in yields. The genomics research in pearl millet lagged behind because of multiple reasons in the past. However, in the recent past, several efforts were initiated in genomic research resulting into a generation of large amounts of genomic resources and information including recently published sequence of the reference genome and re-sequencing of almost 1000 lines representing the global diversity. This chapter reviews the advances made in generating the genetic and genomics resources in pearl millet and their interventions in improving the stress tolerance to improve the productivity of this very important climate-smart nutri-cereal.


Genomics Markers Molecular breeding Nutrition Pearl millet Stress tolerance 



Authors greatly acknowledge the funding support from Newton fund (DBT-India and BBSRC, UK) for CINTRIN (BT/IN/UK-VNC/42/RG/2015-16) to RG, RKS, VP, and DST-SERB (PDF/2016/003203) for NPDF fellowship to SB.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)PatancheruIndia

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