Research Achievements

  1. 1. Genetic Enhancement for Productivity, Quality, and Stress tolerance
  2. 1.1 Genetic Resources Management
  3. 1.2 Crop Improvement
  4. 1.3. Seed Science
  5. 2. Application of Basic and Strategic Sciences in Crop Improvement
  6. 2.1 Pre-breeding
  7. 2.2 Molecular breeding
  8. 2.3 Biotechnology
  9. 2.4. Crop Physiology
  10. 2.5. Biochemistry & Functional Foods
  11. 3. Host Plant Resistance against Insects and Diseases
  12. 3.1 Insect management
  13. 3.2 Disease management
  14. 4. Resources Management for Higher Millets Productivity
  15. 5. Extension research, Economics and Value-addition
  16. 5.1 Extension Research
  17. 5.2 Economics
  18. 5.3 Value-addition and Commercialization

1. Genetic Enhancement for Productivity, Quality, and Stress tolerance

  • 1.1 Genetic Resources Management
  • Sorghum: During Rabi 2022-23, 521 accessions of sorghum germplasm were characterized at ICAR IIMR-Hyderabad for 22 morpho-agronomic traits (9 quantitative and 13 qualitative traits).
  • A total of 49,779 accessions of millets are conserved in the millets Genebank, ICAR-IIMR.
  • A total of 24,950 accessions of sorghum germplasm under CRP-AB were characterized during rabi 2022-23 at ARS-Washim centre of PDKV, Akola for 22 morpho-agronomic traits (9 quantitative and 13 qualitative traits). A mega field day was organised showcasing the germplasm diversity on 13 March 2023 participated by more than 1000 farmers, scientists and students.
  • Fifteen genetic stocks were registered with ICAR-NB PGR. Seven sorghum genetic stocks are identified for longer leaf length and width, free threshability, hurda quality, high Fe and Zn content.; six finger millet genetic stocks for banded blight resistance, finger and neck blast resistance and multi-finger traits; two pearl millet genetic stocks for high Fe and Zn content and downy mildew resistance.

      1.2. Crop Improvement
    • Kharif sorghum
    • Three kharif advanced breeding lines (PVK 801 × IS 3760, CSV 15 × IS 27054 and ICSR 14001 x ICSV 15013 with high grain yield along with higher Fe (25.6 to 26.7 ppm) and Zn (20.2 to 31.9 ppm) content were identified.
    • RFSH 1 and CSH 30 were identified as better performing kharif hybrids in rice fallow system.
    • Twenty elite x guinea sorghum derivatives with < 30% shoot fly deadhearts were selected and found promising for shoot fly tolerance.
    • Rabi sorghum
    • Stable genotypes for grain (EP55, IS40209, PEC13, EP106 & LG 32) and stover yield (EP106, IS40209, EP55, PEC11 & PU16) were identified based on GGE Bi-plot analysis.
    • Eight parent MAGIC populations to develop RIL were generated from two double cross populations viz., (IS-1041 x IS-1212) x (IS-14779 x IS-15744) and (IS-28141 x IS-16382) x (IS-30466 x IS-21512).
    • CRS-Sor-21, CRS-Sor-17 & CRS-Sor-16 were found promising for grain yield, and the lines CRS-Sor-24, CRS-Sor-23 & CRS-Sor-21 were found superior for stover yield over the ruling check CSV 29R and a popular check M35-1.
    • CRS Sor-13, CRS Sor-18, CRS Sor-20 were found resistant to shoot fly; CRS Sor-15, CRS Sor-19, CRS Sor-25 to stem borer and CRS Sor-11, CRS Sor-16, CRS Sor-27 to aphids.
    • CRS-Sor-21, CRS-Sor-17, CRS-Sor-13 & CRS-Sor-29 were identified as water use efficient lines along with high grain & stover yields.
    • Based on root rhizotron screening, the lines CRS 89, CRS 93 and CRS 99 were found to be drought tolerant.
    • Sweet sorghum
    • During Kharif 2023, 26 hybrids including the check CSH 22SS were evaluated for sweet sorghum productivity traits. The hybrid Tx631 WT (A) x RSSV 260 recorded the highest biomass yield (35% higher than the check), highest juice yield (27% higher than the check) and highest ethanol yield (40% more than the check).
    • Identified promising hybrid 1190A×RSSR 91 with a brix value of 19.5%.
    • Fifteen varieties including the checks CSV 49SS and CSV 24SS were evaluated for sweet sorghum productivity traits. Kh 21 BN-62 recorded the highest biomass yield (19% higher than the check), highest juice yield (70% more than the check) and highest ethanol yield (37% more than the check).
    • Sorghum DUS testing and PPV&FRA related activities
    • Replicated field trials for characterizing the DUS descriptors in candidate varieties and reference varieties of sorghum were conducted during rabi 2022- 23 and Kharif 2023 seasons as per the PPV&FR Authority guidelines.
    • Pearl millet
    • During Kharif 2023, 28 advanced hybrids were evaluated. Among the promising hybrids evaluated for arid regions, 8 hybrids were superior for grain yield.
    • 17 advanced hybrids were evaluated in AHT Medium II and 59 advanced hybrids in AHT Medium I during kharif 2023. Of them, 8 hybrids were superior for grain yield (3.55 to 4.57 t/ha) over checks (1.56 to 3.89 t/ha).
    • 144 advanced hybrids were evaluated in IHT Medium at IIMR-Solapur and IIMR-Hyderabad during kharif 2023. Of them, 12 hybrids were superior for pooled grain yield (3.32 to 4.38 t/ha) over best check 86M86 (3.32 t/ha).
    • A new cost effective SNP genotyping technology "PM 4K SNP mid-density panel" was developed using the "AgriSeq" genotyping platform at ICAR-IIMR, Hyderabad. This cost-effective 4K SNP MDP is a valuable resource for genomics and molecular breeding programs, including genomic selection, marker-assisted breeding, hybridity confirmation, characterization of inbred lines and heterosis breeding.
    • Finger millet
    • Eight white finger millet germplasm lines IC0475624, IC04739570, IC0473972-1, IC0473973, IC0473983, IC0474225, IC0474037, E - 319 were found to be superior for grain yield over the checks.
    • Identified lines for high grain iron - IC047390570 (>45 ppm), protein - IC0473948 (~8%), calcium - IC0474038 and IC0473948 (>3800 ppm) and test weight - IC0473972-1 (3.2gm).
    • GPU 28 x GPU 48 recorded higher number of superior recombinants over other test crosses with respect to tillering ability and compact finger types.
    • Little millet
    • Nana lines viz., IPMR 718, IPMR 981 and IPMR 855 were promising for grain yield traits and IPMR 825, IPMR 767, and IPMR 807 for higher test weight (~3.0 g/1000 grains).
    • Robusta lines IPMR 712, IPMR 875, IPMR 699 and IPMR 1035 were promising for grain yield and IPMR 699 for test weight with 2.5 g/1000 seeds.
    • Foxtail millet
    • Developed a high yielding short duration foxtail millet variety CFXMV-1 (IIMR FxM-7) with high grain yield, extra early duration and resistance to diseases such as rust, brown spot, leaf blast and banded blight and tolerant to shoot fly.
    • Five promising foxtail millet selections and advance breeding lines have been identified among more than 90 superior genotypes evaluated in replicated station trials with grain yield advantage of more than 10% over the best check DHFt 109-3.
    • Nearly 400 single plant selections have been made in the breeding nursery, for further advancement and evaluation.
    • Barnyard millet
    • Crosses between Indian sp. and Indian sp. × Japanese sp. were attempted to generate variation. Germplasm and advanced genetic materials were screened for nutrient composition and identified elite lines viz., BAR 1452 and IEc 647 for protein (~14%), BM-29-17×DHBM93-3)-1-3-3 for Fe (~43%) and VL 172×DHBM 93-3)-211-34-2-1-1 for Zn (~60%) and BAR 1452 for dietary fibre content (10.12%).
    • Proso millet
    • • 90 SSR markers were developed and standardized for diversity analysis in proso millet.
    • Eighty-eight proso millet lines in the association mapping panel were screened for shoot fly resistance for two years. Three proso millet lines IMR-Pm93, IMR-Pm33 and IMR-Pm56 were resistant to shoot fly.
    • Kodo millet
    • Two hundred and five germplasm lines were evaluated for ratooning ability. 34 genotypes were selected based on ratooning ability. GPLM 734 recorded similar plant height in main and ratoon crop and KOPKM 13,14,16, IPS 706 and GPLM 587 recorded similar yields like main crop.
    • Brown top millet
    • Seed set was early and 100% at lower temperature of 50℃ indicating possible self-pollination. The temperatures higher than 55℃ did not set seed indicating possible reduction in stigma receptivity or damage of the gynoecium.
    • 1.3. Seed Science
    • Harvesting at 51, 50 and 48 days after anthesis are the appropriate stages of physiological maturity (PM) and harvestable maturity (HM) for browntop millet cultivars AK1, AK2 and GPUBT6 respectively.
    • Sieve size with 1.8 mm round perforation is optimum for achieving about 98% cumulative recovery and reasonably good quality seeds in cultivars GPU67, CFMV1, CFMV2 and VL353 of finger millet.
    • Temperature of 9 oC to 12 oC found to be useful in screening sorghum genotypes for cold tolerance at seedling stage.

      2. Application of Basic and Strategic Sciences in Crop Improvement

      2.1 Pre-breeding
    • Among 30 accessions of wild sorghum evaluated, Sorghum bicolor subsp arundinaceum and S. bicolor subsp matarenkense and S. purpureosericeum showed moderate resistance (20-30 % deadhearts) to shoot fly.
    • Interspecifc and intergeneric hybridization in sorghum is used to diversify the genetic base and ready-to-use prebreeding lines are available. The improved lines sweet sorghum, popping and diversified parental lines in 27B and 126B are found promising in multilocation testing.
      2.2 Molecular breeding
    • Validation of 50 in-house developed genomic SSR markers each of kodo and little millet in a set of 64 diverse genotypes each for the assessment of their polymorphism potential revealed that the polymorphism information content in the range of 0.03 - 0.63 and 0.03 – 0.78 for kodo and little millet respectively. The utility of these markers in assessment of genetic diversity was demonstrated.
    • Genotyping of 16 parental lines of kharif sorghum comprising 8 each of A and R-lines using 600 genomic SSR markers revealed polymorphism for 426 markers. The coefficient of marker polymorphism (CMP) values ranged between 0.34 (2911A vs C43) and 0.52 (456A vs AKR 150).
      2.3 Biotechnology
    • Genome edited lines developed through CRISR-Cas9 technology by down-regulating SbSERK genes for aposporous apomixis induction in sorghum.
    • Forage sorghum transgenic lines developed by expressing DGAT and stable Cys-oleosin genes for enhancing the energy content and also the protection of TAG products against rumen microbial lipases.
      2.4. Crop Physiology
    • Post flowering and season long drought stress have affected the grain filling dynamics in most of the rabi sorghum varieties. Both grain number and grain size were affected under moisture stress conditions.
    • Stem Non-structural carbohydrate reserves (NSC) and chlorophyll fluorescence was estimated under moisture stress conditions. Moisture stress right from the seedling stage (for prolonged drought period) has resulted in poor panicle formation, rapid grain filling of top panicles, resulting in significant reduction in panicle weight and panicle width.
      2.5. Biochemistry & Functional Foods
    • Finger millet genotypes GPU-67, Mami Mandia, GPU-28 were identified as low and VL-352, MR-6 as high phytic acid lines.
    • Amylose content ranged from 11.59 % (BN-8) to 29.72 % (BN-12) in advanced sorghum breeding lines and 18.23 % (SR-16) to 24.8 % (ATL 1) in foxtail millet varieties.
      1. 3. Host Plant Resistance against Insects and Diseases

      3.1 Insect management
    • Panicle damage due to shoot fly significantly reduced yield level in small millets while seedling damages had lesser effect on yields. Panicle damage was not significant in sorghum due to very less damage scores, panicles not fully damaged unlike in small millets. Seedling damage significantly reduced yields in sorghum.
    • Natural enemy pressure on aphids in millets was assessed to identify potential parasitoids and predators.
    • Number of internodes influenced both aphid incidence(number/plant) and aphid damage (visual rating). The internode number negatively influenced the aphid number and aphid damage.
    • Identified 6 methyl 5-heptanone, octanal, nonanal, decanal, limonene and caryophyllene as Oviposition induced plant volatiles (OIPVs) in sorghum for enhancing the foraging activity of the stemborer parasitoid Cotesis flavipes.
    • Identified a highly virulent native strain of Metarhizium rileyi (IIMR Ma 23) to fall armyworm larvae, causing 100% mortality 5 days post treatment.
    • IS 12308, Rampur Local, CSV 29 and IS 4581 recorded lower foliage damage score of 2.0 on scale of 1 - 9 and recorded lower whorl damage (below 10%) by the fall army worm larvae.
    • Chlorantraniliprole was found to be the most effective insecticide against stem borer, Chilo partellus with least shot holes (11.6%), deadhearts (0.81%), stem tunneling (0.55cm m-1 stem) and exit holes (0.20%).
    • 3.2 Disease management
    • Studies on the relationship among three different types of blast of finger millet revealed that there were strong association between leaf and finger blast (p= 0.003), finger and neck blast (p= 0.008) and leaf and neck blast (p< 0.047).
    • Expression pattern of top 100 significant differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in blast resistant (IE 2911) and susceptible (GE449) lines suggested that more genes were differentially regulated in resistant than in susceptible line and ~60% of them were PR proteins genes.
    • Of the 183 accessions of foxtail millets, 3 (EC0529829, IC0547319 & EC0529830) were highly resistant to blast and were stable across six environments.
    • Diversity analysis through molecular characterization of bacterial endophytes of millets (228 nos) could identify 9 different bacterial genera (Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Lysinibacillus, Stenotrophomonas, Enterobacter, Brevibacillus, Pantoea, Paenibacillus and Sphingomonas).
    • 34 isolates of bacterial endophytes recorded plant growth promotional activities in sorghum, finger millet, kodo millet and little millet under in-vivo tests.
    • Incidence of viral disease in sorghum and foxtail millet was surveyed in Solapur. Incidence of red stripe virus dominated (10-18%) over the maize stripe (1-2%) and maize mosaic (0.5-1%) viruses.
    • Preliminary studies suggested new infection of foxtail millet by barley virus G, which was transmitted by aphids Melanaphis sacchari (Zehentner). The results are being ascertained through sequencing and bioinformatics analysis.

      4. Resources Management for Higher Millets Productivity

      • Sorghum intercropping in 1:2 ratio with small millets (1.313) and 1:3 ratio with buckwheat (1.512) were found the best systems based on land equivalent ratio (LER).
    • Intercropping of sorghum with nutricereals in 1:1, 1:2 and 1:3 has reduced the weed biomass at 20 days after sowing by 22.5, 27.1 and 37.7%, respectively over sole sorghum (32.5 g/m2).
    • Post-emergence application (2-4 leaf stage of weeds, 18 days after sowing) of UPH-2221 @ 187.5 g a.i./ha has resulted in at par GFY as that of hand weeding’s twice treatment.
    • Maize Leaf colour chart was suitable for nitrogen top dressing in sorghum, bajra and finger millet.
    • Better performing finger millet varieties with respect to higher grain yield and water use efficiency in no stress - GPU 67 and CFMV 2; in moderate and severe stress conditions - PR 202 and ML 365.

      5. Extension research, Economics and Value-addition

    • 5.1 Extension Research
    • Determination of yield gap-I on kharif sorghum of last three years, between potential and demonstration yield was found to be 9.33 q/ha, extension gap (6.67 q/ha) and technology index of 28%, on an average.
    • Eleven technology interventions were organized under crop module in seventeen villages of Nyalkal, Jharasangam and Naranyankhed mandals of Sangareddy district in central Telangana.
    • Millet farmers were facilitated with various activities and awareness related to improved millet production and processing technologies.
      5.2 Economics
    • In all states the sorghum consumption declined both among rural and urban population except in Gujarat where the rural population of the state the consumption registered positive growth trend.
    • Analyze the long-term co-integration among the major sorghum markets, revealed the presence of two co-integration equations indicating the long-run equilibrium relationship among the sorghum markets.
      5.3 Value-addition and Commercialization
    • Multi millet soup mix with rich dietary fiber was developed with overall acceptability of the product was 8 in 9-point hedonic scale.
    • Among all the millets evaluated, pearl millet stands out with the highest IVPD at 85.24%, indicating a significant portion of its protein can be effectively digested.
    • Three Instant mixes (sorghum millet energizer, multi millet beverage mix, fortified multi millet mix) five ready to cook (sorghum vermicelli, sorghum pasta, multi millet pulse mix, sorghum noodles and multi millet porridge mix) and three ready to eat (sorghum chocos, multi millet extruded snacks and muesli) products were developed.
    • Developed ragi based milk.
    • 20 market awareness campaigns, trainings, walkathons, roadshows, mobilization drives were organized to millet FPOs in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha and Telangana.