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Crop Science Abstract -

A Gene for Early Maturity and Photoperiod Insensitivity in Pearl Millet1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 21 No. 2, p. 317-318
    Received: Sept 15, 1980

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  1. Glenn W. Burton2



The e1 gene was isolated by repeated backcrossing from a weak, spindly, very early maturing seedling discovered by R. F. Moore in a field of ‘Katharine’ pearl millet, Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke, growing in Queensland, Australia. Inbreds T23DBE and T756, carrying e1e1 developed by backcrossing the e1 gene into T23DB and T28, flowered in 45 to 55 days regardless of season planted, whereas T23DB and T28 (like most pearl millets) flowered in 75 to 85 days if planted in May and 55 to 65 days if planted in August. Thus the e1e1 gene imparts photoperiod insensitivity and makes most millets carrying it mature 10 to 40 days earlier. The e1 gene and a rapid backcrossing program make it possible to quickly create very early photoperiod-insensitive forms of any superior pearl millet cultivar or hybrid.

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