Plant Genetic Resources

Research Article

Identification of gaps in pearl millet germplasm from East and Southern Africa conserved at the ICRISAT genebank

H. D. Upadhyayaa1 c1, K. N. Reddya1, M. Irshad Ahmeda1 and C. L. L. Gowdaa1

a1 International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Genetic Resources, Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh 502 324, India


The International Crops Research Institute for the semi-Arid Tropics Genebank at Patancheru, India holds the world's largest collection of 22,211 pearl millet germplasm accessions from 50 countries including 4488 landraces from 16 East and Southern African (ESA) countries. Gap analysis using FloraMap software and 3750 georeferenced pearl millet germplasm accessions from ESA countries revealed 34 districts located in 18 provinces of four East African countries and 76 districts located in 34 provinces of seven Southern African countries as geographical gaps. Analysis of characterization data using DIVA-GIS software showed 11 districts of seven provinces in Sudan and Uganda and 58 districts of 20 provinces of seven countries in Southern Africa as gaps in diversity for important morphoagronomic traits. The following districts were identified as gaps common to geographic area and diversity for some or the other traits: Amuria district in Soroti province of Uganda; Mpwapwa in Dodoma province of Tanzania; Mahalapye in Centre province and Kgatleng in Kgatleng province of Botswana; Lalomo in Southern province of Zambia; and Motoko, Mudzi and Wedza in the province of Mashonaland East; Makoni in Manikaland; Gutu and Chivi in Masvingo; Gwanda and Bulalimamangwe in Metabeland south; Hwange and Nkayi in Metabeland north; and Kwe Kwe in Midlands of Zimbabwe. For a successful germplasm collection mission to fill the gaps identified, planning should be made in advance of collaboration and consultation with National Agricultural Systems, local government officials and extension officers. It is suggested to collect the complete passport data including georeference information while collecting the germplasm.

(Received May 23 2012)

(Accepted August 15 2012)

Key Words:

  • collection;
  • diversity;
  • exploration;
  • genetic resources;
  • geographical gap;
  • introduction


c1 Corresponding author. E-mail: