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Agronomy 2017, 7(2), 28;

Opportunities for Napier Grass (Pennisetum purpureum) Improvement Using Molecular Genetics

Feed and Forage Development, International Livestock Research Institute, Box 5689, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
School of Plant Science, College of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Haramaya University, Box 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: John W. Forster and Kevin F. Smith
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 4 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach.) is a fast-growing perennial grass native to Sub-Saharan Africa that is widely grown across the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is a multipurpose forage crop, primarily used to feed cattle in cut and carry feeding systems. Characterization and diversity studies on a small collection of Napier grasses have identified a moderate level of genetic variation and highlighted the availability of some good agronomic traits, particularly high biomass production, as a forage crop. However, very little information exists on precise phenotyping, genotyping and the application of molecular technologies to Napier grass improvement using modern genomic tools which have been applied in advancing the selection and breeding of important food crops. In this review paper, existing information on genetic resources, molecular diversity, yield and nutritional quality of Napier grass will be discussed. Recent findings on characterizing disease resistance and abiotic stress (drought) tolerance will also be highlighted. Finally, opportunities and future prospects for better conservation and use arising from the application of modern genomic tools in Napier grass phenotyping and genotyping will be discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Napier grass; elephant grass; Uganda grass; Pennisetum purpureum; diversity analysis; characterization; phenotype; genotype Napier grass; elephant grass; Uganda grass; Pennisetum purpureum; diversity analysis; characterization; phenotype; genotype

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Negawo, A.T.; Teshome, A.; Kumar, A.; Hanson, J.; Jones, C.S. Opportunities for Napier Grass (Pennisetum purpureum) Improvement Using Molecular Genetics. Agronomy 2017, 7, 28.

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