The Pigeon Pea Evaluation Project

Utilization of introgression lines derived from wild Cajanus  species for pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) improvement


The project “Utilization of introgression lines derived from wild Cajanus species for pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) improvement” is being carried out by a team consisting of the Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU), the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT),  Professor Jayashankar Telanaga State Agricultural University, and the Department of Agricultural Research (DAR, Myanmar). The project is expected to take place between 2018 and 2020.

Pigeonpea is a widely adapted food legume crop cultivated throughout the semi-arid tropics and subtropics. It is of considerable importance in South Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America where it is grown primarily as a food crop. Due to its narrow genetic base, the genetic enhancement is not adequate in this crop and the productivity is hovering around 800 kg/ha for the past six decades. Hence, there is a need to exploit new and diverse sources of variations for the genetic improvement of pigeonpea. Wild Cajanus species possess high levels of resistance/tolerance for various biotic/abiotic stresses and provide novel genetic variations for pigeonpea improvement. Using wild species from secondary and tertiary genepools as donors, and pigeonpea cultivars as recipients, pre-breeding populations have been developed. Evaluation of these populations for yield and related traits over years and locations as well as for biotic/abiotic stresses resulted in the identification of promising introgression lines (ILs) having high-yield and resistance/tolerance to important biotic/abiotic stresses.

The objectives of this project are to conduct farmers-participatory varietal selection (FPVS) trials of high-yielding pre-breeding lines across several locations, evaluate salinity tolerant and disease (SMD and wilt) resistant ILs for yield- related traits across locations, evaluate newly developed backcross populations derived from simple and complex (4-way) crosses for pod borer tolerance, and identify and distribute promising ILs to farmers, breeders, NARS, and/or private sector partners for use in pigeonpea improvement programs. The project will focus on four of the wild relatives of pigeonpea: Cajanus cajanifolius, Cajanus scarabaeoides, Cajanus acutifolius, Cajanus platycarpus. 




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