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Pigeonpea perspective in India

Sameer Kumar, C.V., Mula, M.G., Singh, P., Mula, R.P., Saxena, R.K., Ganga Rao, N.V.P.R. and Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 (2014) Pigeonpea perspective in India. In: 1st Philippine Pigeonpea Congress, 16 - 18 December 2014, Mariano Marcos State University, Batac, Ilocos Norte, Philippines



Pigeonpea occupies a prominent place in Indian rainfed agriculture. It is an integral component of in various agro ecologies of the country mainly inter cropped with cereals, pulses and 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. Based on the crop duration and climatic condition the crop is grouped under four agro ecological zones with varied plant type requirements and location specific constraints for each zone. Systematic crop improvement efforts were launched at ICRSIAT since its inception in 1972. It focused during first decade (1972 to 1980) on collection, evaluation, maintenance and sharing of germplasm and yield enhancement research. During 1980 to 2000 ICRISAT research priorities were development of stable sources of resistance for wilt and Sterility Mosaic Diseases which are highly devastating and endemic in India in almost all the agro ecologies of pigeonpea cultivation. From 2000, concerted efforts are in progress on CGMS based hybrid development. Spectacular achievement by ICRISAT in recent past in the crop is deciphering its genome sequence and it has ushered pigeonpea in to genomic era. Subsequently lot of genomic information is in the process of development through molecular approaches like Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS), Nested Association Mapping (NAM). Multiparent Advance Generation Inter Crosses (MAGIC) and Introgression Libraries (IL) etc. These approaches are under process of utilization for crop improvement.

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