Agronomy and Horticulture Department


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Dwarf grain pearl millet [Pennisetum glucum (L.) R. Br.] germplasm NPM-4 (Reg. no. GP-37, PI 634545) was released in September 2003 by the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.

NPM-4 was derived from open-pollinated outcrosses of white grain inbred line 57028R1w grown in a 1998 Puerto Vallarta winter nursery. The source of the outcross pollen was from primarily genetically diverse, dwarf, early maturing, gray seeded lines being developed as parents for grain yield. Line 57028R1w was derived from 89C57028R1/3*90PV0121. Line 89C57028R1 is gray-seeded, and line 90PV0121 has white seed. Line 90PV0121, an F5 was derived from the cross 85C53005/ZW10. Line 89C57028R1was an A1 (Burton, 1958) cytoplasmic nuclear male-sterility (cms) restorer S5 selection out of row 84M:17101-1 of segregating germplasm obtained in the late 1970s from Dr. A.J. Casady, Kansas State University, that had undergone random mating and selection for at least 3 cycles before 1984. Line 85C53005 was an A1 maintainer S2 selection (84H:14014) also from the segregating Casady germplasm. The line ZW10 was a white seeded introduction from Zambia obtained in 1988. The 1998 winter nursery outcrosses of 57028R1w were grown in isolation at the Department of Agronomy Farm at the University of Nebraska’s Agricultural Research and Development Center (ARDC), Mead, NE, in 1998 and productive dwarf white seeded plants were selected for harvest and bulked together. The harvested bulk was grown in 1999 at Mead and plants were selfed and selected for all white seed on panicles. The white seeded selfs were grown in isolation in 2000. Nineteen open-pollinated white grain selections were made and random mated in isolation in 2001. Open pollinated seed of the best six white grain families was combined to form the bulk for seed release. Final selection was for panicle size, kernel size, and lodging resistance. Top-crosses of NPM-4 with cms lines NE68A1, NE59043A1, and KS1163A1 (a CMS A1–line from W.D. Stegmeier, Kansas State University-Hays) in 2002 indicated that NPM-4 was a good restorer of A1 cms with good combining ability for grain yield.