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Identification of Stable Resistance to Ergot in Pearl Millet. R. P. Thakur, Pearl Millet Improvement Program, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, P.O. Andhra Pradesh 502 324. V. P. Rao, and R. J. Williams, Pearl Millet Improvement Program, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru, P.O. Andhra Pradesh 502 324; S. S. Chahal, Department of Plant Breeding, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab 141004; S. B. Mathur, Division of Mycology and Plant Pathology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi 110012; N. B. Pawar, Bajra Research Station, Marathwada Agricultural University, Paithan Road, Aurangabad, Maharashtra 431001; S. D. Nafade, Bajra Research Station, Gujarat Agricultural University, Jamnagar, Gujarat 361006; H. S. Shetty, Department of Applied Botany and Seed Technology, University of Mysore, Mysore, Karnataka 570006; Govind Singh, Agricultural Research Station, Durgapura, Rajasthan 302004; and S. G. Bangar, College of Agriculture, Pune, Maharashtra 411005. Plant Dis. 69:982-985. Accepted for publication 18 April 1985. Copyright 1985 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-69-982.

More than 2,500 germ plasm accessions and about 7,300 advanced breeding lines were screened to identify resistance to ergot in pearl millet. All advanced breeding lines were highly susceptible and only very low levels of resistance were detected in a few germ plasm accessions from India, Nigeria, and Uganda. Ergot-resistant lines, developed by intermating relatively less-susceptible plants and pedigree selecting for several generations under high disease pressure, were evaluated through a cooperative international multilocational testing program, the International Pearl Millet Ergot Nursery (IPMEN), to determine their resistance stability. Seven inbred lines (ICMPE numbers) and six sib-bulk populations (ICMPES numbers) evaluated at eight to 12 locations for 23 yr in India and West Africa showed consistently high levels of ergot resistance. Mean ergot severities in these lines across locations ranged from <1 to 7% compared with 3065% in the susceptible check. These lines were also resistant to smut and downy mildew at ICRISAT Center, Patancheru.