Wild cousins of finger millet show promise of parasite resistance

Finger millet can be grown at altitudes ranging from sea level to over 2000 metres above sea level, can withstand drought, and has high levels of essential amino acids and micronutrients. Some improved finger millet varieties can be tolerant of the blast disease and Striga parasite, but they are not resistant. As a result, yields of finger millet in East Africa are far from optimal.

A Crop Wild Relatives pre-breeding project aims to reduce due to Striga and blast by finding wild relatives of finger millet that have resistance to these maladies.

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