Scientist at the University of Vienna in Austria have published the genome sequence of Pearl millet, a drought resistant crop plant most important in arid regions in Africa and Asia.
ScienceDaily reports that pearl millet is a staple food plant in arid and semi-arid regions of Africa, India and Asia. This so-called C4 plant shows high resistance against drought stress but molecular mechanisms behind this are rather unknown. .
Therefore, an international consortium with participation of the University of Vienna sequenced now the genome of pearl millet and additionally 994 further breeding lines and wild-types to reveal molecular properties hinting to drought resistance mechanisms on a genome basis.
In combination with other studies, the researchers developed the first molecular-physiological hypotheses are derived how the plant can adapt to water deficiency and heat and at the same time keep a reasonable harvest index.
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