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Keywords:

  • domestication;
  • genetic map;
  • pearl millet;
  • Pennisetum glaucum.

The inheritance of domestication traits distinguishing pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) from its wild relatives (P. mollissimum) was assessed in F2 progenies derived from a cross between a typical landrace of pearl millet and a wild ecotype. Despite a high level of recombination between the two genomes, the existence of preferential associations between some characters was demonstrated, leading, in particular, to cultivated-like phenotypes. Traits determining spikelet structure showed simple Mendelian inheritance. Moreover, the genes encoding these traits mapped in a linkage group where quantitative trait loci for spike size and tillering habit were found. This linkage group could correspond to one of the two chromosome segments that have already been shown to be involved in the variation for spikelet structure in progenies from several cultivated×wild crosses. A synthetic map of these two regions is given. The evolutionary significance of this genomic organization in relation to the domestication process is discussed, as well as its potential use for pearl millet genetic resources enhancement.