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University of Zambia (2010)

Variability for Drought Tolerance in finger millet[eleusine coracana(L.)]accessions from Zambia

Neshamba, Mubaiwa Saul

Titre : Variability for Drought Tolerance in finger millet[eleusine coracana(L.)]accessions from Zambia

Auteur : Neshamba, Mubaiwa Saul

Université de soutenance : University of Zambia

Grade : Master of Science in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems 2010

Résumé partiel
Finger millet \Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn.] is an important traditional food security crop in 2 remote and dry areas of northern Zambia. Its several major uses include porridge, bread, malt, beverages, fodder and popped products. Yields in these areas are severely limited by drought. Drought is expected to occur with increased frequency and intensity in future with climate change. Development of tolerant varieties is a more sustainable way to cope with recurrent drought for small scale growers. Limited research on tolerance to drought in finger millet in Zambia has been done. As a result only a few varieties adapted to the high rainfall region have been developed and promoted. Two hundred and fifteen accessions in the national collection have not been evaluated for the trait. As a result very little is known about their variability in the trait. Assessment of variability is important for effective selection. Variation in 12 putative morphological and agronomic traits of drought tolerance in 203 accessions was studied in a wooden box Randomized Complete Block Design off-season in 2 environments, one with and the other without stress, on an Acrisol in northern Zambia. One sample T-test of differences in attributes of traits showed no significant difference between test environments in grain weight (GW, p = 0.744). The test, however, showed significant differences in spike length (SL,/ ? = 0.027) ; highly significant differences in biomass (BW, p < 0.001) and chaff weight (CW,p < 0.001), days to 50 % flowering (DTP,/ ? < 0.001), pest and disease susceptibility (PDS, p < 0.007), plant height (PH, p < 0.001), number of productive tillers (NPT, p < 0.001), spike weight per plot (SY, p < 0.001) and stay-green characteristic (SGC, p < 0.001). Withholding water for 5 days during flowering reduced SL by 3.4 %, BW by 3.1 %, SGC by , CW by, PDS by 10.5 %, NPT by 40.0 %), and SY by 48.5 % and increased PH and DTP by 3.1 and 4.3 %, respectively. One-way analysis of variance detected significant differences among accessions in SY (p = 0.032) under optimal conditions.

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