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Crop specific traits of Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh) and their implications in seed production

Sameer Kumar, C.V., Nagesh Kumar, M.V., Sudhakar, C., Saxena, R.K. and Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 (2015) Crop specific traits of Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh) and their implications in seed production. In: 8th National Seed Congress, 27 - 29 October 2015, Hyderabad, India



Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] is an important pulse crop of Indian rainfed agriculture. Of the 3.47 m ha grown under the crop in India with mean productivity of 711 kg/ha, the central and southern India contributes over 72.8% in area and 69.5% in production with a mean yield of 649.2 kg/ha.(DAC, 2011). In spite of dedicated variety breeding efforts, the productivity of pigeonpea has remained unacceptably low for over 50 years. Photoperiod and thermoperiod sensitivity and perenniabiltiy are the major issues that cause hindrance in quality seed production of the crop. To break this yield plateau, a hybrid breeding technology, based on natural out-crossing and cytoplasmic nuclear and genetic male-sterility (CGMS) systems were developed at ICRISAT and PJTSAU and a number of hybrids with 30-100% yield advantages over the control were identified. Among these, ICPH 2740 was found most outstanding. In 31 multi-location trials conducted over five years, this hybrid (2793 kg/ha) recorded 41% superiority over the ruling variety Asha (1985 kg/ha). The performance record of hybrids suggests that this technology has a potential for breaking yield barrier in pigeonpea. Genome sequencing (Varshney et al. 2012), 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 are some of the recent innovations in the crop which offer a scope for the enhancement of production and productivity and ushers the crop as an economical viable option by the public and private seed industry.

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