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Pearl millet is a climate-resilient crop which is most widely grown in the arid and semi-arid tropics of Asia and Africa over 26 mha. It is a highly nutritious cereal crop and rightly termed as nutricereal. This crop requires low inputs and delivers high cost-effective benefits. Development of high yielding hybrids is the major target of pearl millet researchers globally. The understanding of genetic diversity is very important and must for developing superior hybrids and crop improvement programs. In the present study, we evaluated the diversity among 30 different released hybrids and varieties of pearl millet using 125 Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) markers. Out of these, 61 polymorphic SSRs were reported giving 191 alleles with an average of 3.13 alleles per primer. Polymorphic Information Content (PIC) varied from 0.33 to 0.76 with an average of 0.55 PIC value. The cluster analysis based on these SSR markers categorized the genotypes into four major clusters viz., I, II, III, IV with similarity coefficient ranging from 0.58 to 0.73. The results depicted that sufficient genetic variability exists among the different hybrids and varieties used in the study which can further prove useful for pearl millet improvement programs. The study also reveals that SSR markers are proficient and may be used efficiently for genetic diversity studies in pearl millet. It is also anticipated that findings of this study may be further used for DNA fingerprinting and varietal identification.
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