Evaluation of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L. (R. Br.)) landraces for resistance to stem borer (Coniesta ignefusalis Hampson.) infestation
Characterisation of germplasm collection is imperative for identification and selection of new resistance sources in any crop breeding programmes. Thus, evaluation of pearl millet germplasm for resistance to stem borer infestation was carried out in view of the challenges of poor yield and quality reduction of pearl millet, elicited by its feeding activities. Thirty-five (35) pearl millet accessions were collected from different states where the crop is majorly cultivated in Nigeria. The accessions were characterised for resistance to stem borer infestation on the field. Further confirmation for selected potentially resistant accessions under artificial screen house conditions was done using a randomised complete block design (RCBD) with ten replications each. The field estimated selection index showed that out of the 35 accessions screened, 15 accessions were potentially resistant; 13 resistants with range value of 0.00 to 0.40 and 2 moderately resistant. Further nursery screening confirmed 9 of the 15 accessions to be resistant under artificial infestation. NS-JIL-01 accession was most highly resistant with significant least leaf damage score of 0.25. Significant and positive correlation (r = 0.32) was obtained between days to anthesis and number of larvae per plant at p < 0.01. Negative correlation of percentage internodes damage with panicle diameter (-0.26) and panicle weight (-0.25 gn) at p < 0.01 as well as weight of 1000 seeds (r = -0.19, p < 0.05) were also significant. The identification of potentially resistant accessions on field and confirmation of some of the accessions under artificial screen house conditions indicated, gene for resistance to stem borer infestation in pearl millet could be obtained from the natural eco-type germplasm.
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