Anther culture of Finger Millet(Eleusine Coracana)
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A study was conducted at the University of Zambia tissue culture laboratory, School of Agricultural Science (Crop Science Department) from March to September 2002. The objectives of the study was to establish which growth media was most suitable for anther culture of Nyika variety of finger millet. The other objective was to establish the optimal number of days of pre shock treatment which gives the highest response. Anther response was the proportion of microspores that survived and developed from the inoculated anthers. These grew into muticellular filamentous structures with cells actively dividing with less the diploid number of chromosomes. The importance of the study is that anther culture provides a method for the production of homozygous lines over the course of a few months, rather than the several generations required using conventional whole plant techniques .The resulting haploid plants are homozygous and breed true.Three different media namely N6 ,NN and MS and pre shock treatment of duration 0, 4 ,8 and 12 days were evaluated for anther culture response. Anther response varied with pre shock treatment. The combination of N6 and 4 day pre shock treatment gave the highest response . The results are indicative of the possibility of growing finger millet from pollen following further improvement in pollen culture conditions. The resultant homozygous plants with desirable traits could be selected as elite lines or used for further crop improvement to produce superior finger millet varieties.
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