Diversity in proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) landraces collected from Himalayan mountains of Nepal
Authors: K. H. Ghimire, B. K. Joshi, R. Gurung, B. R. Sthapit
Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) is one of the oldest cereal grains cultivated in the north-western part of Nepal. Not a single proso millet variety has been released so far for cultivation in Nepal. To assess the genetic diversity of proso millet conserved in the National Agriculture Genetic Resources Centre, 42 accessions of proso millet were characterized in Khumaltar (1360 m a.s.l.), Lalitpur in 2015 that were collected from the Humla (1900–2800 m a.s.l.) and Jumla (2300–2600 m a.s.l.) districts of the Western Himalayas of Nepal. Seven quantitative and nine qualitative traits were recorded using standard descriptors. The accessions were found to be diverse using Shannon–Weaver diversity indices (H′) for the quantitative traits of days to heading and maturity, plant height, panicle length, panicle exertion, flag leaf length and grain yield, whereas low diversity was observed for the qualitative traits of leaf sheath colour, flag leaf angle, grain shape, and grain colour, and no diversity was observed for leaf pubescence. The accessions were grouped in five clusters where an accession in Cluster-5 and six accessions in Cluster-4, all from Humla, were found to be high-yielding, early-maturing and of taller plant height. In contrast, 4 accessions in Cluster-2 (3 from Jumla) were low-yielding, late-maturing and of shorter plant height. Accessions H237, H176, H311, H489, H490, H643 and H653, all from the Humla district, performed better in the preliminary evaluation. Although these accessions could be used for future breeding to develop climate-resilient varieties, the genebank could employ an innovative method of using participatory diversity kits to promote farmer selection for immediate benefits.
Genetic diversity Neglected and under-utilized species (NUS) Panicum miliaceum L. Plant genetic resources (PGR) Quantitative and qualitative traits