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Mapping Millet Genetics to Enable Better Varieties for Farmers in Developing Countries

SciTechDaily (NOVEMBER 6, 2019 )

Titre : Mapping Millet Genetics to Enable Better Varieties for Farmers in Developing Countries

In the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Africa, conditions can be difficult for crops. Plants need to have short growing seasons, survive on poor soils and tolerate environmental stresses.

SciTechDaily (NOVEMBER 6, 2019 )

Présentation
Close to 97% of millets grown worldwide are produced in developing countries. Millets are a diverse group of cereal crops. Importantly, they generally have high nutritional content.

“However, millets have been largely overlooked by modern genetics research,” says Matthew Johnson, a researcher at the University of Georgia. In a new study, Johnson, along with colleagues in India, have generated some of the first genetic resources for three different varieties of millets.

As genetic resources are created for less-studied crops, researchers can better leverage the genetic diversity within the crop family. This can lead to the development of new varieties of crops. “Our results will give researchers tools to develop better millet varieties for farmers,” says Johnson. Most farmers who grow millets are smallholders (farming less than 5 acres). Millets are crucial for their livelihood. That’s because they can grow on marginal lands and need less water than most crops.

“Millets also grow much quicker than most other major crops,” says Johnson. That’s important because farmers can plant millets if weather or natural disasters cause initial plantings to fail. “So, with millets, the farmers can at least get some harvest,” he says.

Source  : ADITYARUP "RUP" CHAKRAVORTY, AMERICAN SOCIETY OF AGRONOMY

Annonce (SciTechDaily)

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