Impact of Flag Leaf Removal on Grain Development and Nutrients Deposition in Pearl Millet Developing Grains
Flag leaves play an important role in synthesis and translocation of photoassimilates in the pearl millet plant, affecting grain yield; similarly it was believed to be a major source of remobilizing micronutrients (Fe and Zn) for the seeds. At the same time, the seed’s sink strength plays an important role in dry matter accumulation. To investigate the relative contribution of pearl millet flag leaves to protein, micronutrient (Fe and Zn) and phytate accumulation, a field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of flag leaf removal on grain test weight (1000 grain weight), protein, micronutrients (Fe and Zn) and Phytate deposition in developing grains of two pearl millet cultivars viz. HC 20 and WHC 901-445. Flag leaf was removed on anthesis. Major effect of flag leaf removal was observed on test weight and protein content. A reduction of 10-12% in test weight and 4-6% in protein content was recorded in flag leaf removed plants than that of control plants. No significant reduction was observed in both the micronutrients (Fe and Zn), while phytate content behaved cultivar specific, a significant reduction was observed in HC 20 while it was unaffected in WHC 901-445. Perusal, a significant reduction was observed in all the nutrients in respect of test weight basis. From this investigation it is concluded that flag leaf plays vital role in grain maturation i.e. in supply of carbohydrate and protein fractions that might have limited role in micronutrient remobilization and transportation to developing grains in pearl millet.