Investigation of Finger Millet Floral Structure and Hand Emasculation
The knowledge of floral structure, floral biology and pollination behavior are pre-requisite for understanding the system and its manipulation for developing a proper crossing in which is largely lacking in small millets. The variability in floral structure and biology was studied in various finger millet genotypes. The inflorescence consisted of a cluster of variable number of spikes called fingers. Each finger has two opposite rows of spikelets. A spiklete contains variable number of florets. The florets are hermaphrodite, perfect except for the terminal florets. The floret is covered by two large glumes, enclosed between a pair of palea. The florets are in the axil of lemma. The androecium consists of three stamens. The gynoecium is bicarpellary, unilocular with superior ovary. Near the base of ovary two lodicules are present. There was a wide range of variation in the length of anther, filament, stigma and style. Anthesis occurred between 1.00 a.m. to 6.00 a.m., the peak period of anthesis being between 3.00 a.m. to 5.00 a.m. the pollen viability at the time of dehiscence of anthers ranged from 76.92 percent to 100 percent.