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Efforts and strategies for alleviation of drought tolerance in chickpea in India

Chaturvedi, S.K., Singh, N.P., Gaur, P.M., Mishra, N., Alok, D., Sumit, S. and Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 (2017) Efforts and strategies for alleviation of drought tolerance in chickpea in India. In: InterDrought-V, 21 - 25 February 2017, Hyderabad, India.


Among the various cool season pulses grown in India, chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) occupies an important position in rainfed agriculture. Chickpea is largely grown (>67% area) on conserved/ residual moisture, contributing about 45% to the total pulses production in India. Being a rainfed crop, it often faces terminal drought stress. When chickpea sowing is delayed in fields vacated by paddy in the presence of terminal heat, soil moisture stress further limits its productivity. This necessitates the adoption of suitable strategies to alleviate per se drought tolerance in chickpea. Two main strategies, integrated breeding and transgenic technology, have been adopted for developing drought-tolerant varieties. The third potential strategy is utilization of nanotechnology, which has not been tried under Indian NARES. Systematic breeding efforts resulted in development of varieties having per se drought tolerance (RSG 44, Vijay, RSG 888, JG 74, Pusa 2024), and escape (JG 11, JG 16, JSC 56, IPC 2006-77 etc.) exploiting earliness. QTLs responsible for drought tolerance have been identified in chickpea genotype ICC 4958, which have been transferred, and drought-tolerant elite breeding lines have been developed. MAGIC and NAM populations combining drought and heat tolerance are now becoming available for identification of elite breeding lines having combined tolerance to both stresses for their possible release. Exploitation of transgenic technology using DREB gene has also shown promise. The use of nano-particles in enhancing root development and growth vigour in chickpea has opened the doors for exploitation of nanotechnology for alleviation of per se drought tolerance.

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