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Finger millet: a hero in the making to combat food insecurity
Wednesday, 2024/05/29 | 08:13:06

Hallie Wright & Katrien M. Devos

Theoretical and Applied Genetics; Published: 21 May 2024; Volume 137, article 139


Climate change and population growth pose challenges to food security. Major crops such as maize, wheat, and rice are expected to face yield reductions due to warming in the coming years, highlighting the need for incorporating climate-resilient crops in agricultural production systems. Finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn) is a nutritious cereal crop adapted to arid regions that could serve as an alternative crop for sustaining the food supply in low rainfall environments where other crops routinely fail. Despite finger millet’s nutritional qualities and climate resilience, it is deemed an “orphan crop,” neglected by researchers compared to major crops, which has hampered breeding efforts. However, in recent years, finger millet has entered the genomics era. Next-generation sequencing resources, including a chromosome-scale genome assembly, have been developed to support trait characterization. This review discusses the current genetic and genomic resources available for finger millet while addressing the gaps in knowledge and tools that are still needed to aid breeders in bringing finger millet to its full production potential.


See https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-024-04637-6


Figure 1: Timeline (not to scale) showing key events in the origin and breeding of finger millet. The figure was created with Biorender.com


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