Regeneration guidelines for finger millet

View regeneration guidelines in full (in PDF)
by clicking on the picture above (0.3MB)

Also available in the following languages:

The information on this page was extracted from:
Upadhyaya H.D., Gopal Reddy V. and Sastry D.V.S.S.R. 2008. Regeneration guidelines: finger millet. In: Dulloo M.E., Thormann I., Jorge M.A. and Hanson J., editors. Crop specific regeneration guidelines [CD-ROM]. CGIAR System-wide Genetic Resource Programme, Rome, Italy. 7 pp.

Before reading the regeneration details for this crop, read the general introduction that gives general guidelines to follow by clicking here.


Finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn.) is an important subsistence cereal in parts of Africa and south Asia. The species has two subspecies, africana (Kenn.-O’Byrne) K.W. Hilu & de Wet and coracana (L.) Gaertn. Subspecies africana has two races, africana and spontanea, while subspecies coracana has four races: elongata, plana, compacta and vulgaris (Prasada Rao et al. 1993). Finger millet is mostly self-pollinating, with some amount of cross-pollination (1%) mediated by wind (Jansen and Ong 1996; Purseglove 1972). Finger millet is very adaptable to a wide range of environmental and climatic conditions, thrives at higher elevations than most other tropical cereals and tolerates salinity better than most cereals.

Choice of environment and planting season

Climatic conditions

Planting season

Finger millet (Eleusine coracana) field. (photo: ICRISAT)

Preparation for regeneration

When to regenerate

Seed sample

Field selection and preparation

Method of regeneration

Finger millet is a self-pollinated crop and seed regeneration does not require any pollination control. Leave a distance of 3 m between accessions.

Planting layout, density and distance

Planting method


Crop management

Weed management




Common pests and diseases

Contact plant health experts to identify pests and diseases and appropriate control measures. Some of the major pests and diseases of finger millet are:

Finger millet (photos: National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Regional Station, Phagli, Shimla, India)


Post-harvest management

Monitoring accession identity

Comparisons with previous passport or morphological data

Documentation of information during regeneration

Collect the following information during regeneration:

References and further reading

Advances in Small Millets. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. PVT Ltd., New Delhi, India. pp. 331–346.
Purseglove JW. 1972. Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn. In: Tropical Crops. Monocotyledons. Longman Group Limited, London, UK. pp. 147–156.

Bioversity International, AICRP-Small Millets, IITA, ICRISAT, NBPGR. 2010. Key access and utilization descriptors for finger millet genetic resources. Bioversity International, Rome, Italy; All India Coordinated Research Project on Small Millets, India; International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria; International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, India; National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, India. Available here.

Duke JA. 1978. The quest for tolerant germplasm. ASA Special Symposium 32, Crop tolerance to suboptimal land conditions. American Society of Agronomy, Madison, WI, USA. pp. 1–61.

Duke JA. 1979. Ecosystematic data on economic plants. Quarterly Journal of Crude Drug Research 17:91–110.

Jansen PCM, Ong HC. 1996. Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn. In: Grubben GHJ, Partohardjono S, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia, No. 10 Cereals. Backhuys Publishers,Leiden, The Netherlands. p. 90.

Prasada Rao KE, de Wet JMJ, Gopal Reddy V, Megnesha MH. 1993. Diversity in small millets collection at ICRISAT. In: Riley KW, Gupta SC, Seetharam A, Moshonga JM, editors.


These guidelines have been peer reviewed by Kameswara Rao, International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), Dubai, UAE.

The Genebanks

The 11 CGIAR genebanks currently conserve 730,000 of cereals and grain legumes, forage crops, tree species, root and tuber crops, bananas and crop wild relatives.