Advances in Food Legumes Research at ICRISAT

Gaur, P M and Varshney, R K and Upadhyaya, H D and Vadez, V and Sharma, K K and Bhatnagar-Mathur, P and Sameer Kumar, C V and Janila, P and Srinivasan, S and Sajja, S and Sharma, S and Thudi, M and Roorkiwal, M and Saxena, R K and Pandey, M K and Ranga Rao, G V and Sharma, M and Sudini, H and Gopalakrishnan, S and Ganga Rao, N V P R and Fikre, A and Ojiewo, C O and Shewayrga, H and Motagi, B N and Okori, P (2018) Advances in Food Legumes Research at ICRISAT. Ethiopian Journal of Crop Science, 6 (3). pp. 1-47. ISSN 2072-8506

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The mandate grain legumes of ICRISAT include chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut which are important crops of Asia and Africa. The grain legumes improvement program of ICRISAT has access to the largest collection of germplasm of these crops (20,602 accessions of chickpea, 13,771 accessions of pigeonpea, and 15,446 accessions of groundnut) available in ICRISAT genebank, state-of-the art genomics lab, Platform for Translational Research on Transgenic Crops (PTTC), precision phenotyping facilities for abiotic and biotic stresses, controlled environment facilities and a global network of research partners. The major objectives of grain legumes improvement include high yield, early maturity, resistance/tolerance to key abiotic and biotic stresses, and market preferred grain traits (size, shape and color). The crop-specific breeding objectives include suitability to machine harvesting and herbicide tolerance in chickpea, development of hybrids in pigeonpea, and enhanced oil yield and quality (high oleic content) and tolerance to aflatoxin contamination in groundnut. The crop breeding programs have been making extensive use of the germplasm, including wild species. The advances in genomics include availability of draft genome sequences, large number of molecular markers, high density genetic maps, transcriptomic resources, physical maps and molecular markers linked to genes/quantitative trait loci for key traits. There are successful examples of introgression of traits through marker-assisted backcrossing in chickpea and groundnut. Transgenics events are available for pod borer resistance in chickpea and pigeonpea and drought tolerance in groundnut. Advances have also been made in use of secondary metabolites for promotion of plant growth, control of insect pests and plant pathogens, and biofortification. The breeding materials and germplasm supplied by ICRISAT have led to release of 160 varieties of chickpea in 26 countries, 91 varieties/hybrids of pigeonpea in 19 countries and 190 varieties of groundnut in 38 countries. Many of these varieties have been adopted widely by farmers and benefitted them in sustainably improving their livilihoods.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Asia
Research Program : East & Southern Africa
Research Program : Genetic Gains
Research Program : West & Central Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Breeding, chickpea, groundnut, pigeonpea, pulses, ICRISAT, crop breeding program, breeding materials, germplasm, grain legumes improvement, genomics, Food Legumes Research, Grain Legumes, Legumes Research
Subjects: Others > Plant Breeding
Others > Biofortification
Others > Agricultural Research
Mandate crops > Chickpea
Mandate crops > Pigeonpea
Mandate crops > Groundnut
Others > Food Legumes
Others > Genetics and Genomics
Others > Plant Physiology
Others > Legume Crops
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2019 07:08
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2019 06:13
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: This article is part of A Special Volume Dedicated to the 3rd Decadal National Conference on Food and Forage Legumes in Ethiopia 6 - 9 November 2016, EIAR, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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