Foxtail Millet (Setaria italica L.): Potential of Smaller Millet for Future Breeding

  • Mangesh Pradip MoharilEmail author
  • Krishnananda Pralhad Ingle
  • Pravin Vishwanath Jadhav
  • Dipti Chandrabhan Gawai
  • Vaibhav Chandrakant Khelurkar
  • Penna SuprasannaEmail author


Millets are considered nutri-cereals which play a crucial part in overcoming malnutrition and have a significant role in improving the status of human health. Foxtail millet (Setaria italica L.), also known as Italian millet or German millet, belongs to Poaceae family and is cultivated globally, including in India. It is also a staple food and feed in several regions of Asia and Africa. There is a great genetic diversity with a large number of germplasm collections maintained in countries like China, Japan, the USA and India. The crop is nutritionally superior as the grains contain high amounts of proteins, essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins and micronutrients like iron and zinc. Thus, foxtail millet can be useful for biofortification programs aimed at combating malnutrition. Foxtail millet is a relatively drought-tolerant crop and hence genomic interventions can be in place for genetic engineering for abiotic stress tolerance. Recent advancements in a draft genome sequence of this millet has spawned great enthusiasm in unraveling genetic and genomic intricacies, genome-wide molecular marker development, genomics-assisted breeding, identification and validation of stress-associated gene families. There have been great research efforts in the creation and facilitation of genomics databases. In this chapter, we present an overview of the importance, genetic diversity, potential and genomics interventions for foxtail millet improvement.


Abiotic stress Biotechnology Diversity Genetic improvement Genomics Molecular markers Nutritional importance 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mangesh Pradip Moharil
    • 1
    Email author
  • Krishnananda Pralhad Ingle
    • 1
  • Pravin Vishwanath Jadhav
    • 1
  • Dipti Chandrabhan Gawai
    • 1
  • Vaibhav Chandrakant Khelurkar
    • 1
  • Penna Suprasanna
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Biotechnology Centre, Department of Agricultural Botany, Post Graduate InstituteDr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi VidyapeethAkolaIndia
  2. 2.Nuclear Agriculture and Biotechnology DivisionBhabha Atomic Research CentreTrombay, MumbaiIndia

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