Pigeonpea hybrids and their production: a manual for researchers

Tikle, A and Saxena, K B and Yadava, H S (2018) Pigeonpea hybrids and their production: a manual for researchers. Manual. ICRISAT.

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Since last five decades pigeonpea scientists are constantly sharing the concern about plateauing productivity of the crop. The pioneer work done by ICRISAT and ICAR towards breaking the productivity barrier through hybrid technology is now appreciated by one and all; and the authors join in welcoming this breakthrough. The authors would like to thank ICRISAT for sharing this technology with Rajamata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwa Vidhaylya; and this resulted in the release of the world’s first commercial pigeonpea hybrid ICPH 2671 by Madhya Pradesh Government in 2010-11. The authors would like to appreciate and acknowledge the dedicated research efforts of ICRISAT Pigeonpea Breeding team in developing an easy and affordable hybrid breeding technology. This manual deals with various aspects of research and commercial production of pigeonpea hybrids; and most information and photographs were made available by ICRISAT, and the authors greatly acknowledge this support. Authors are highly grateful to the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor Prof. Anil Kumar Singh Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Gwalior, for his constant inspiration in the preparation and publication of this manual. Authors are also thankful to Dr. Sandeep Sharma, Entomologist of R.A.K. College of Agriculture, Sehore for his valuable technical guidance and editing of the manuscript. The monetary assistance received through the Development Grant of Indian Council of Agricultural Research for printing of this manual is duly acknowledged.


Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan L. Millsp.) is crowned as poor man’s crop which provides much needed protein to farming families with least inputs.. It is a versatile plant species which can grow successfully in a range of soil types, temperatures and photoperiods. Its deep root system enables it to overcome intermittent drought and other stresses. In India, the crop is grown annually on about 4.04 m (FAO, 2012) ha and the major pigeonpea growing states are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat (Table 1). The high protein pigeonpea dal (decorticated dry splits) is widely consumed across the country in various cuisines. The annual national production of pigeonpea is about 2.56 m tones. This produce, however, is not sufficient to feed the ever growing population of the country, and hence, necessitates huge (500,000 tons) imports of this pulse. In spite of its importance in food security and sincere research efforts, its national productivity could never cross the bar of 800 kg/ha (Fig 1) since independence. Since last 50 years ICAR have been very seriously pursuing the issue of genetic enhancement with huge investments and some outstanding pure line varieties with about 10% more grains over the best local varieties were developed. These achievements, however, were not enough to feed the nation with nutritious food and a major breakthrough in pigeonpea productivity was needed. Intensive national efforts in this direction could not succeed in raising the stagnant productivity level. Recently, an opportunity had come in our way when cytoplasmic nuclear male sterility (CMS) based hybrid pigeonpea technology was developed jointly by International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The release of the world’s first commercial hybrid ICPH 2671 by Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia, Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh has already become a milestone in pulse breeding (Saxena et al., 2013). This hybrid has demonstrated huge (>40%) yield advantage in farmers’ fields. This research development has given the breeders an option to break the decades-old yield plateau in pigeonpea. For realizing high yields from hybrids and reap the benefits of this technology, the availability of both quality seed and optimum agronomy are essential. Since in hybrids every year new crossed seeds are required for sowing, the production of large quantities of quality seed is the key for their success. In this book efforts are made to describe various methods of breeding new hybrid combinations and large scale seed production of promising hybrids and their parents...

Item Type: Monograph (Manual)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pigeonpea, Hybrid seed production, Breeding new hybrids, Yield assessments of new hybrids, male sterility systems
Subjects: Others > Plant Breeding
Mandate crops > Pigeonpea
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2019 09:46
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2019 09:46
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/11078
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