A Comparism of the Response of Some Pearl Millest (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. BR) Hybrids and Their Parents to Downy Mildew (Sclerospora graminicola) Infestation in Bakura and Zaria (North-western Nigeria)
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Downy mildew (Sclerospora graminicola (Sacc) Schroet.) of pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.Br.] is a devastating disease that has greatly led to grain yield loss in Nigeria. A field experiment was carried out in 2010 at Bakura (Zamfara State) and Zaria (Kaduna State) in North West Nigeria. The objective of this paper was to evaluate downy mildew resistance in some pearl millet using Complete Randomized Block Design. Four resistant male varieties (PEO5532, SOSATC88, P1449 and DMR15) and four susceptible female varieties (BDP1, MOP1, LCIC9702 and PEO5984 were used in this study. The resistant varieties were crossed with the susceptible varieties using North Carolina design 11 for the mating to form sixteen (F1) hybrids. The F1 hybrids were further evaluated along with their parents for downy mildew resistance, grain yield and other agronomic traits (such as: Plant height, panicle height, number of tillers per plant, panicle diameter and number panicles per plot). The resistant male parents were found to be susceptible while none of the hybrids was resistant to downy mildew. However, the degree of incidence and severity of downy mildew disease defer in the two locations. The hybrids exhibited tolerance to downy mildew disease and their yields were higher than their parents. The analysis of variance (one tale ANOVA or which one?) showed highly significant difference among parents and hybrids for all agronomic characters except disease severity and number of tillers per plant. Location × genotype interaction effects were only significant for grain yield and number of panicles per plot.
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