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Crop Biotech Update

New Technology to Speed Up Pearl Millet Breeding

January 21, 2011

HarvestPlus focuses its efforts on biofortification of staple crops with iron, zinc and vitamin A, the three micronutrients recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the most limiting in diets. Thus, HarvestPlus, in collaboration with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is conducting  extensive work on increasing iron and zinc concentrations in pearl millet, an essential staple crop in South Asia. Researchers are using various laboratory techniques to quickly and effectively assess nutrient levels in the germplasm of pearl millet.

Scientists are now using a new equipment to get rapid results: an X-ray Flourescence (XRF) Spectometer. This new tool will enable identification of best seeds with the most nutrients required for breeding, thus saving the time and money for the research.

Know more about this project at