Two new varieties of chickpea juiced-up to withstand drought and disease

Scientists said genomics interventions in breeding, like molecular breeding, will significantly enhance crop productivity of legumes like chickpea.

Published: 21st September 2019 03:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st September 2019 09:51 AM   |  A+A-

Drought

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: In a first-of-its-kind effort, India is set to launch drought tolerance and disease resistance chickpea, developed in record time through genomics-assisted breeding, by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) keeping in mind impact of climate change on agriculture.

All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) for Chickpea identified two desi chickpea (Bengal chana) varieties-’Pusa 10216’ and ‘MABC-WR-SA-1’.

“It is a success story of collaboration of ICAR institutes, state agricultural university and an international organisation like ICRISAT,” said Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Director General, ICAR and Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Government of India.

Scientists said genomics interventions in breeding, like molecular breeding, will significantly enhance crop productivity of legumes like chickpea.

“Pusa 10216, which is the first variety to have drought tolerance through molecular breeding, was developed in just four years. It showed 11.9% increase in yield over Pusa 372 during two-year multi-location testing in drought conditions,” said Dr Bharadwaj Chellapilla from Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).

Similarly, MABC-WR-SA-1 was developed by inducing fusarium wilt resistance in Annigeri-1, a variety highly preferred by farmers and the industry in Karnataka.  

Scientists said breeding new varieties conventionally can take 10 to 11 years and keeping in mind the world’s growing population and rising demand for food makes genomics key to accelerated breeding.

Improved legumes

  • First variety to be drought tolerance through molecular breeding.

  • Both varieties developed in half the conventional time (10-11 yEArs).

  • Productivity hike — 11.9% ‘Pusa 10216’ & 7% ‘MABC-WR-SA-1’.

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