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Developing Breeding Tools for Genetic Improvement of Proso Millet (Panicum miliaceum L.)

Rituraj Khound, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) is one of the oldest cereals domesticated around 10,000 years ago in the semiarid regions of northern China. This ancient grain is priced for its impeccable water-use efficiency and short growing season. It is commonly used as a rotational crop in the winter wheat-based dryland cropping system in the High Plains of the United States. Even though the use of its seed has been restricted to the bird seed industry in the USA, proso millet is an integral part of the human diet in many countries owing to its nutritional and health-promoting properties. The genetic improvement of this crop is hindered by the minimal genomic resources available to the researchers. This dissertation aims to develop breeding tools to complement conventional proso millet breeding. The first objective was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from low-pass genome sequencing of a diverse population. SNP calling resulted in the identification of 972,863 SNPs from paired-end sequences. The high-quality SNPs identified in this study were subsequently used to investigate the population structure and phylogenetic relationships among the genotypes. The second chapter was aimed at estimating the heading percentage of proso millet using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)- based high-throughput phenotyping. We developed a high-throughput method for identifying heading with high accuracy of ~92%. The third and final objective was to conduct a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify SNPs associated with a few key morpho-agronomic traits in the US proso millet core collection. Overall, 20 highly significant MTAs were identified for five important traits. These MTAs could be the targets for candidate gene identification and marker-assisted selection. All these resources generated in the dissertation would make the existing proso millet genetic improvement programs more robust, time-efficient, and cost-effective. These resources could also be useful to further the understanding of proso millet genetics and genomics-assisted breeding.

Subject Area

Agronomy|Plant sciences|Genetics

Recommended Citation

Khound, Rituraj, "Developing Breeding Tools for Genetic Improvement of Proso Millet (Panicum miliaceum L.)" (2022). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI30000096.
https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI30000096

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