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Advances in food legumes research at ICRISAT

Gaur, P.M., Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131, Upadhyaya, H.D., Vadez, V., Sharma, K.K., Bhatnagar, P., Sameer Kumar, C.V., Janila, P., Srinivasan, S., Sajja, S.B., Sharma, S., Thudi, M., Roorkiwal, M., Saxena, R., Pandey, M., Ranga Rao, G.V., Sharma, M., Sudini, H., Gopalakrishnan, G., Gang Rao, N.V.P.R., Fikre, A., Ojiewo, C., Shewayrga, H., Motagi, B.N. and Okori, P. (2018) Advances in food legumes research at ICRISAT. Ethiopian Journal of Crop Science, 6 (3). pp. 1-47.

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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 livelihoods.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Crop Science Society of Ethiopia
Copyright: © 2018 Pooran et al.
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