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Evaluation of a new field screening technique for smut resistance in pearl millet pennisetum americanum

, : Evaluation of a new field screening technique for smut resistance in pearl millet pennisetum americanum. Phytopathology 73(9): 1255-1258

An effective field screening technique was developed to identify resistance to smut in pearl millet. THe technique involved inoculation of tillers at the boot-leaf stage by injecting a sporidial suspension of Tolyposporium penicillariae into the space around the inflorescence within the flag leaf sheath, followed by covering the tiller boots with parchment bags. High humidity was maintained with frequent overhead sprinkler irrigation throughout the period of inoculation, flowering and grain development. Inflorescences were scored for smut reaction 20-25 days after inoculation with the aid of a standard key developed to estimate percent severity. This technique was used successfully in the field during the 1981 rainy season to screen more than 200 pearl millet lines. Resistance was confirmed in a few lines and many resistant plants with selfed seeds were selected.

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