We are pleased to announce the release under the Toronto Agreement of a high quality assembly of the genome of finger millet, Eleusine coracana, on Phytozome. The sequence data were produced under NSF-BREAD award IOS-1543901 in collaboration with JGI.
Finger millet, Eleusine coracana, is an important food security crop for smallholder farmers in Eastern Africa and Southern India. The highly nutritious grain is rich in methionine, an essential amino acid that is lacking in predominantly starchy diets, and has calcium levels that are 5 to 30-fold higher than in most other cereals. Finger millet is considered a beneficial food for diabetics due to its high fiber, polyphenol and antioxidant content. The high amylase activity make finger millet amenable to malting, turning finger millet into a promising weaning food to combat malnutrition. The small grain has excellent storage qualities, making it also an important famine food. Yields, however, are typically low due to a lack of improved varieties. Genetic and genomic information are needed to bring finger millet breeding into the 21st century.