Grain iron density variability among new farmer-preferred experimental millet varieties from Niger
Grain micronutrient content assessment is important in breeding pearl millet, in order to maintain or improve its high nutritional quality. Grain samples of 12 farmer-preferred pearl millet varieties produced in four representative environments in Niger during the 2013 rainy season were assessed for Fe, Zn, Al and P grain densities using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Combined analysis of variance revealed significant (P < 0.01) variation among entries across environments only for Fe grain density, which had a broad-sense heritability of 89%. Fe grain density varied from 30.4 to 39.2 mg kg-1 among these varieties, with a mean of 32.4 mg kg-1. Among the 12 varieties, ICRI-Tabi and ICMV-IS 13131 (reselected ICRI-Tabi) showed the highest Fe grain densities.
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Keywords: Genetic variability, Grain iron, heritability, malnutrition, micronutrients, pearl millet