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Kulakow, P.A. 1990. Simply inherited genetic variation in grain amaranth. p. 150. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), Advances in new crops. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

Simply Inherited Genetic Variation in Grain Amaranth

P.A. Kulakow

Mendelian studies of qualitative morphological differences in grain amaranth landraces representing three cultivated and one weedy species identified over 20 generic loci. These loci determine a variety of differences including dwarfism, leaf markings, flowering time, panicle development, seed characteristics, betalain pigment production, abnormal development and hybrid inviability Genetic characterization of grain amaranth landraces will be useful for evolutionary studies and genome mapping. Particular alleles, such as a dominant allele resulting in a shortened generation time, may be useful as tools in a crop improvement program. Other alleles, such as those determining dwarfism, determinant flowering, or resistance to seed shattering may be useful for varietal development.
Lehmann, J.W. and R.L. Clark. 1990. Hybridization of grain amaranths: Implications for long-term development. p. 150. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), Advances in new crops. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

Hybridization of Grain Amaranths: Implications for Long-term Development

J.W. Lehmann and R.L. Clark

Both interspecific and intraspecific hybridization within the primary gene pool of grain amaranths, including Amaranthus hybridus L., A. hypochondriacus L., A. cruentus L., and A. caudatus L., are potentially useful improvement methods. In 1985, we observed vegetative vigor in hybrids arising from natural outcrossing between African vegetable types (A. cruentus) and Asian feral types (A. hybridus). During 1986 and 1987, over 130 interspecific and intraspecific hybrids were tested; some interspecific hybrids yielded over 150% more biomass than their high parent.

Because grain amaranths, originally a New World domesticate, have been carried to much of the rest of the world and selection has taken place on four continents, inbred and genetically diverse populations were expected and have been detected. Synthetic populations representing heterotic groups or key forage, vegetable, or grain traits could be formed. Federally-supported population improvement programs like that for maize are expensive, long-term programs, usually considered beyond the scope of private research. Amaranth development will likely require long-term, public underwriting of population improvement and variety protection to insure private investment in competitive, modern inbreds and cultivars.


Early, D.K. 1990. Amaranth intercropping techniques of Andean Quechua peasants. p. 151. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), Advances in new crops. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

Amaranth Intercropping Techniques of Andean Quechua Peasants

Daniel K. Early

Over the centuries Quechua peasants have developed and refined patterns of intercropping adapted to their harsh Andean ecosystem. An examination of case studies of amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus) cropping patterns in Central Peru reveals a number of general patterns or ideal types which are expressed in various creative ways in actual fields. These ideal patterns, which may date from pre-Columbian times reflect this diversity characteristic of Andean peasant agriculture. One of the most common patterns is the border. A border of amaranth is sown surrounding the field which is said to protect the principal crop against wind, animals, and thieves. Another common practice is creating señales or divider rows of amaranth or quinoa (Chenopodium album) parallel with the rows of the primary cultigen. Workers often measure their cultivation by señales. Another common pattern is intercalado, intercropping two or more cultigens alternating in the same row. Often amaranth is broadcast over the field after another crop such as corn is sown in rows. Amaranth is also cultivated as a volunteer. The random pattern of volunteers is similar to that of broadcast amaranth. In addition, amaranth is transplanted to spots where the principal crop did not germinate. Case studies from Huaraz, a traditional amaranth growing area in Central Peru, illustrate how Quechua peasants creatively combine these different ideal patterns to their specific needs. Case 1 is a field of intercropped oca (Oxalis tuberosa) and corn alternating with señales: rows of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa), parallel to the rows of corn and oca. Amaranth borders two sides of the field. Case 2 is a house garden plot built on three levels. Level I consists of four rows of intercropped peas and corn with dividing rows, señales, of amaranth and an amaranth border along one side. A row of oregano separates levels I and II followed by rows of intercalado intercropped peas and corn perpendicular to level I. There is an amaranth dividing row and amaranth border on one side. Level III consists of oregano and lettuce running perpendicular to level II. Case 3 is to one side of a house. Amaranth had come up either broadcast or voluntarily within rows of corn. The amaranth was concentrated near a fertile area characterized by garbage and presumable naturally composted household waste. In case 4 amaranth and beans is scattered among rows of corn. The amaranth was coming up as volunteers from the previous years planting.

In all cases the amaranth was always intercropped, most commonly as borders and dividing rows within fields. It grew in soil conditions from low to high N with medium levels most common.

Andean peasant practice shows that amaranth can be successfully intercropped with corn and that it grows in a wide variety of soil conditions often with little effort. These characteristics make amaranth an attractive candidate for introduction to subsistence growers in various parts of the world.


Stegmeier, W.D., B. Khaleeq, R.L. Vanderlip, and D.J. Andrews. 1990. Pearl millet: A potential early maturing dryland feed grain crop. p. 151. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), Advances in new crops. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

Pearl Millet: A Potential Early Maturing Dryland Feed Grain Crop

William D. Stegmeier, B. Khaleeq, R.L. Vanderlip, and D.J. Andrews

Pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. & Br.] an early maturing cereal of African origin, is widely grown (25 million ha) as a staple food crop in drought prone areas of Africa and India. Pearl millet is potentially a feed grain in areas of the U.S. where drought, soil type (low pH, or very sandy soils), short season or excessive heat reduce the yield potential for sorghum, as in parts of western Nebraska and Kansas. The huskless grain is nutritious, contains 5-7% oil, no tannin, has higher protein and energy levels than corn or sorghum, and has been evaluated favorably in feed rations of chickens and steers. Breeding programs at the University of Nebraska and Kansas State University, supported by INTSORMIL (USAID, Title XII funds) have produced experimental dwarf combine hybrids yielding 80-90% of sorghums of a comparable maturity. Research continues on yield, lodging resistance, and herbicides. Sorghum planting, cultivating, and harvest machinery can readily be used to manage pearl millet.
Khaleeq, B., W.D. Stegmeier, and R.L. Vanderlip. 1990. Stand establishment in relation to seedling mesocotyl and coleoptile length in pearl millet. p. 152. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), Advances in new crops. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

Stand Establishment in Relation to Seedling Mesocotyl and Coleoptile Length in Pearl Millet

B. Khaleeq, W.D. Stegmeier, and R.L. Vanderlip

Stand establishment problems of pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. and Br.] are severe constraints to successful production under subsistence farming conditions in the dry tropics and with mechanized farming practices in the Great Plains of the U.S. Failure to obtain adequate plant populations is often associated with adverse weather conditions occurring at critical times during the germination process; i.e., rapid soil drying prevents germination, soil crusting prevents emergence, and rainstorms during emergence flatten and bury seedlings in the wet soil. Studies were initiated 1) to examine temperature effects on seedling elongation in the germinator, and 2) to determine if deep planting (75 or 100 mm) under field conditions of materials previously selected for increased seedling length and rapid elongation in the germinator and greenhouse would identify lines possessing improved stand establishment capabilities. Seeds were germinated in rolled paper dolls in a dark germinator at desired temperatures for 8-day periods, allowing maximum elongation of mesocotyl (MC) and coleoptile (CL) organs and rupture of the CL releasing the first leaf. Seeds were planted in greenhouse and field beds at 75 or 100 mm depths and compared to controls planted 37 or 50 mm deep. Germination of 100 lines at temperatures of 30, 35, and 40°C showed maximum MC elongation occurred at 35°C, but CL elongation at 35°C was not significantly different from elongation at 30°C. A significant reduction in both MC and CL elongation occurred when these lines were germinated at 40°C. Highly significant differences in elongation of MC and CL organs were found among 1100 entries germinated at 30°C with MC and CL lengths ranging from 14 to 130 mm and 6 to 40 mm, respectively. Seedling emergence was significantly higher under field conditions for those entries with long seedling length (MC + CL) in 75 mm depths-of-planting in comparison to short seedling length entries.
Dilday, R.H. 1990. Contribution of Ancestral Lines in the Development of New Cultivars of Rice. p. 152. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), Advances in new crops. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

Contribution of Ancestral Lines in the Development of New Cultivars of Rice

Robert H. Dilday

An examination of the ancestry of rice (Oryza sativa) revealed that cultivars which have been developed in Arkansas, California, Louisiana and Texas can be traced to only 22 accessions. Furthermore, only 185 accessions or about 1% of the 17,000 accessions that are in the rice portion of the USDA/ARS small grains collection constitute the ancestry of cultivars that have been released in rice in the U.S. The genetic base of the breeding program in Arkansas can be traced to 13 accessions (Sinowpagh, Marong-Paroc, Guinosgar, Pa Chain, Unknown from Japan, Unknown from Philippines, Unknown from China, Carolina Gold, T487, Badkalamkati, Hill Selection, CI 5309 and Early Wataribune). Also, the genetic base of the breeding program in Texas can be traced to only 12 accessions, the first 10 accessions that are listed in the Arkansas breeding program plus two additional accessions, Jojutla and Bruinmissie. Furthermore, the genetic base of the rice breeding program in Louisiana can be traced to 16 accessions; the first eight accessions that are described in the ancestry of cultivars that have been released in Arkansas and CI 5309, which is part of the ancestry of the Arkansas released cultivars, and Delitus, Honduras, TN-1, H-4,13-D plus two unknowns. The genetic base of the rice breeding program in California can be traced to 23 accessions and seven of the accessions (China, Marong-Paroc, Sinowpagh, Carolina Gold, unknown from Japan, Early Wataribune and CI 5309) are common to ancestry of Arkansas cultivars. This type of genetic base in rice has led to high coefficients of parentage not only among new cultivars that have been developed at each location but between the cultivars that have been developed at different locations, especially in the southern rice breeding programs.
Last update February 14, 1997 by aw