Spontaneous chlorophyll mutants of Pennisetum americanum: Genetics and chlorophyll quantities

P. R K Koduru, M. K. Rao

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1 Scopus citations


Thirteen spontaneously occurring chlorophyll deficient phenotypes have been described and their genetic basis was established. Ten of these - 'white', 'white tipped green', 'patchy white', 'white virescent', 'white striping 1', 'white striping 2', 'white striping 4', 'fine striping', 'chlorina' and 'yellow virescent' showed monogenic recessive inheritance and the remaining three - 'yellow striping', 'yellow green' and 'light green' seedling phenotypes showed digenic recessive inheritance. The genes for (i) 'white tipped green' (wr) and 'yellow virescent' (yv) and (ii) 'patchy white' (pw) and 'white striping 1' (wst 1) showed independent assortment. Further, the genes for 'white' (w), 'white tipped green' (wr) and 'yellow virescent' (yv) were inherited independently of the gene for hairy leaf margin (Hm). In the mutants - 'white tipped green', 'patchy white', 'white striping 1', 'white striping 2', 'fine striping', 'chlorina', 'yellow virescent', 'yellow striping', 'yellow green' and 'light green' phenotypes total quantity of chlorophyll was significantly less than that in the corresponding controls, while in 'white virescent' there was no reduction in the mature stage. For nine of the mutants the quantity of chlorophyll was also estimated in F1's (mutant x control green). In F1's of six of the mutants - 'white tip', 'patchy white', 'chlorina', 'yellow virescent', 'fine striping' and 'yellow striping' the quantity of chlorophyll was almost equal to the wild type. In the F1's of three of the mutants - 'white striping 1', 'white striping 2' and 'light green' an intermediate value between the mutant and wild types was observed. In 'yellow virescent' retarded synthesis of chlorophyll, particularly chlorophyll a was observed in the juvenile stage. Reduced quantity of chlorophyll was associated with defective chloroplasts. In the mutants - 'white tipped green, 'white virescent', 'fine striping', 'chlorina', 'yellow striping', 'yellow green' and 'light green' defective plastids were also observed. In 'patchy white' secondary destruction of chlorophylls and the presence of defective plastids were found to be associated with reduced chlorophyll quantity at maturity. Paper chromatographic studies of leaf flavonoids revealed some variation between the inbreds, but there were three common spots, 7, 8 and 9, except for PDP in which the spot 8 was absent. Chlorophyll deficient mutants differed from their respective controls in the absence of one or more of the spots present in the controls and in the presence of new spots in some of the mutants. Most of the chlorophyll mutants showed higher survival rate in the Kharif season than in Rabi season which was attributed to the higher mean day temperature and longer day light period in the Kharif season than in Rabi season.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1980


  • Chlorophyll deficiencies
  • Chlorophyll quantities
  • Flavonoids
  • Pearl millet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics


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