Technique for artificial hybridization of foxtail millet [Setaria italica (L.) Beauv.] Academic Article uri icon


  • The difficulty making crosses and lack of an efficient crossing technique have resulted in a very limited number of genetic studies and, consequently, limited improvement of foxtail millet [Setaria italica (L.) Beauv.]. Objectives of this study were to acquire knowledge of the anthesis habits of foxtail millet and to develop a technique for artificial hybridization of foxtail millet. To understand the process of anthesis, several variables were observed on five plants of each of five cultivars under greenhouse and growth chamber conditions during the summer of 1994. The efficiency of the crossing technique described was evaluated based on seed set from emasculated but non-pollinated checks, seed set from more than 6400, and percent hybrid plants among 30 F1 plants from each of 21 cross-combinations. During the summer, anthesis of foxtail occurred between 1800 h and 0700 h, starting the third day, after the emergence of the spike. Few flowers opened and there was practically no anthesis between 0800 h and 1800 h. Anthesis initiated at or about one third down the spike and progressed up to the apex and down to the base. Each spike required from 10 to 13 d to complete anthesis. The number of florets opening on the second day averaged 36, which was an optimum for successful emasculation. Opening and closing of a single flower occurred in about 7 min. The crossing technique described was effective with an average 75% seed set, and more than 90% true hybrid seed or 67.5% hybrid seed set per flower crossed.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Siles, M. M., Baltensperger, D. D., & Nelson, L. A.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Siles, MM||Baltensperger, DD||Nelson, LA

publication date

  • September 2001