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Recent Advances in Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (l.) Millspaugh) Research

Kumar, C.V., Singh, I.P., Patil, S.B., Mula, M.G., Kumar, R.V., Saxena, R.K. and Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 (2016) Recent Advances in Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (l.) Millspaugh) Research. International Journal of Economic Plants, 3 (1). pp. 13-15.

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Pigeonpea or red gram [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh] is an important food legume of the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Africa. It occupies a prime niche in sustainable farming systems of smallholder rainfed farmers. It occupies a prominent place in Indian rainfed agriculture. It is an integral component in various agro ecologies of the country mainly inter cropped with cereals, pulses, oilseeds and millets. It is the second most important pulse crop next to chickpea, covering an area of around 4.42 m ha (occupying about 14.5% of area under pulses) and production of 2.86 MT (contributing to 16% of total pulse production) and productivity of about 707 kg/ha. It is mainly consumed as dry split dhal throughout the country besides several other uses of various parts of pigeonpea plant. Enhancing the productivity of the crop assumes specific significance in India mainly to combat protein malnutrition as it is the main source of protein to the predominant vegetarian population. The productivity of pigeonpea has remained low and stagnant over the last few decades thus this prompted scientists to search for novel ways of crop improvement. To tackle this challenge, ICRISAT and IIPR are working on number of innovative ideas like, genome sequencing (Varshney et al. 2012), development of CGMS hybrids with 30 to 40 % yield advantage over traditional varieties, development of photo insensitive super early maturing lines, introgression of cleistogamous flower structure to maintain genetic purity of elite lines, use of obcordate leaf shape as NEP to assess genetic purity of hybrid parental lines and development of disease resistant hybrids and elite breeding lines. These aspects are described briefly below.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Puspa Publishing House
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