Pulse Crops: Biotechnological Strategies to Enhance Abiotic Stress Tolerance

Ganeshan, S and Gaur, P M and Chibbar, R N (2012) Pulse Crops: Biotechnological Strategies to Enhance Abiotic Stress Tolerance. In: Improving Crop Productivity in Sustainable Agriculture. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co, Weinheim, Germany, pp. 423-450. ISBN 9783527665334

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Pulse crops are leguminous plants whose grains are used exclusively for food. In Asia, Africa, and many developing countries, pulses constitute a major source of dietary protein and extensive efforts are being undertaken to improve pulse production. However, due to global climate change, abiotic stresses are increasingly impeding crop production. Conventional plant breeding has contributed tremendously to the development of improved crop varieties, but other biotechnological tools are needed to complement breeding efforts to accelerate development of pulse crop varieties tolerant to abiotic stresses such as drought, salinity, and high and low temperatures. Genomics resources such as molecular markers have started to expedite marker-assisted breeding and quantitative trait loci (QTL) introgression in chickpea for drought tolerance. Similarly, transcriptomic resources such as expressed sequence tags and expression profiling such as microarrays also contribute to further understand abiotic stress tolerance in pulses and for the development of genic markers. In pulse crops, development of in vitro regeneration techniques and transgenics has been slow and more resources need to be allocated to expedite their development. In vitro regeneration techniques are also useful for embryo rescue of wide hybrids. Transgenics, although controversial, offer a faster means to develop abiotic stress-tolerant pulse crops. While enhancement of abiotic stress tolerance in pulse crops implies higher returns in the developed countries, in developing countries it will contribute to food and nutritional security and sustainable production. It is therefore encouraging that ICARDA, ICRISAT, and CGIAR (Generation Challenge Programme) invest extensively into using new technologies for improvement of pulse crops in these regions of low-input farming.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: abiotic stresses, legumes, genomics, marker-assisted selection, transcriptome profiling, transgenics
Subjects: Others > Food Legumes
Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Mr Sanat Kumar Behera
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2013 05:22
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2013 05:55
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/6604
Acknowledgement: UNSPECIFIED
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