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Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan L. Millsp.): An ideal crop for sustainable agriculture

Saxena, R.K., Saxena, K.B. and Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 (2019) Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan L. Millsp.): An ideal crop for sustainable agriculture. In: Al-Khayri, J.M., Jain, S.M. and Johnson, D.V., (eds.) Advances in Plant Breeding Strategies: Legumes. Springer, pp. 409-429.

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Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] is traditionally cultivated as an annual crop in semi-arid regions of the world. It has a number of characteristics such as diverse maturity time, drought tolerance and natural out-crossing which makes it unique among legumes. These traits not only allow its cultivation in diverse environments and cropping systems, but also permit implementation of different breeding methods. Pigeonpea is a crop of sustainable agriculture and poor crop management, exposure to diseases and pests coupled with unpredictable rains hinder crop improvement activities. However, recently partial out-crossing has been exploited to develop cytoplasmic male-sterility (CMS) based hybrid breeding technology. Thus far, three hybrids have been released for cultivation with yield advantages of 30–50% over standard varieties. Pigeonpea R&D now also enjoys a wealth of genomics resources such as a draft genome sequence, resequencing data, candidate genes and markers associated with key traits. Genomics and breeding efforts are underway to make pigeonpea a more sustainable crop and to unlock the genetic diversity present in germplasm to develop new cultivars rapidly.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Springer
Copyright: © 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG
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