Trait Selection for Yield Improvement in Foxtail Millet (Setaria italica Beauv.) under Climate Change in the North China Plain

Author:Wenying Zhang, Bianyin Wang, Binhui Liu, Zhaoyang Chen, Guanli Lu, Yaoxiang Ge and Caihong Bai

Weather factors and drought could impact the yield of foxtail millet, and varieties with
      traits that could alleviate the negative effects of deteriorating weather factors in the future should
      be developed. A total of 25 foxtail millet varieties were evaluated in experiments from 2016 to 2020
      under well-watered (WW) and water-stressed (WS) treatments. Future climate change might favor
      an increased temperature that impedes grain yield, so varieties with characters that are less sensitive
      to temperature change are preferred. Varieties with a high panicle dry-weight per plant, thousand
      grain weight, leaf area and water productivity in deep soil layer usually gave better grain production
      under both water treatments. Under the WW treatment, low grain abortion rate, optimal chlorophyll
      and canopy temperature and more roots in the upper soil layer could favor a high yield and drought
      resistance. Under the WS treatment, varieties with a high harvest index, low rate of water loss and
      more roots in the upper soil layer usually produced a high yield.

Key words:foxtail millet; weather factor; yield variation