Wild relatives of pearl millet can take the heat

42°C in the shade? No problem for pearl millet, thanks to its wild relatives. Scientists from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) are making significant progress in developing pearl millet varieties (Pennisetum glaucum) which not only tolerate high temperatures and drier conditions but also resist the devastating blast disease.

The ICRISAT scientists and their partners in the private sector and universities are working on a project to provide beneficial genes from its wild relatives that will be used to improve cultivated pearl millet varieties. Ultimately, the scientists hope that farmers will be able to grow one of the world’s most important cereals in marginal environments despite a changing climate.

Read more on Thomson Reuters …

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