, finger millet, is an important cereal crop in East Africa and India. It is grown mainly by subsistence farmers because it 1) can withstand significant levels of salinity, 2) is adapted to a wide range of environments, 3) has high nutritional value, 4) is resistant to water-logging and 5) has few pests as a plant and as a stored food. Breeding efforts have been hampered by the self-pollinating nature of the organism coupled with a small flower.
Eleusine coracana is a tetraploid plant. Domestication is thought to have occurred ~ 5000 years ago. The A genome donor is believed to be Eleusine indica, a ubiquitous weed of tropical and subtropical regions. Based upon the GISH work reported by Bisht and Mukai, the B genome donor is believed to be Eleusine floccifolia. Utilization of the observed variation between wild and cultivated E. coracana cultivars is used to generate genetic maps - the first step toward trait transfer in breeding programs.
Last modified: Apr 16 2008