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Exploiting genomic resources for efficient conservation and use of Chickpea, Groundnut, and Pigeonpea collections for crop improvement

Gowda, C.L.L., Upadhyaya, H.D., Sharma, S., Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 and Dwivedi, S.L. (2013) Exploiting genomic resources for efficient conservation and use of Chickpea, Groundnut, and Pigeonpea collections for crop improvement. The Plant Genome, 6 (3).

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Both chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) and pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] are important dietary source of protein while groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is one of the major oil crops. Globally, approximately 1.1 million grain legume accessions are conserved in genebanks, of which the ICRISAT genebank holds 49,485 accessions of cultivated species and wild relatives of chickpea, pigeonpea, and groundnut from 133 countries. These genetic resources are reservoirs of many useful genes for present and future crop improvement programs. Representative subsets in the form of core and mini core collections have been used to identify trait-specific genetically diverse germplasm for use in breeding and genomic studies in these crops. Chickpea, groundnut, and pigeonpea have moved from “orphan” to “genomic resources rich crops.” The chickpea and pigeonpea genomes have been decoded, and the sequences of groundnut genome will soon be available. With the availability of these genomic resources, the germplasm curators, breeders, and molecular biologists will have abundant opportunities to enhance the efficiency of genebank operations, mine allelic variations in germplasm collection, identify genetically diverse germplasm with beneficial traits, broaden the cultigen's genepool, and accelerate the cultivar development to address new challenges to production, particularly with respect to climate change and variability. Marker-assisted breeding approaches have already been initiated for some traits in chickpea and groundnut, which should lead to enhanced efficiency and efficacy of crop improvement. Resistance to some pests and diseases has been successfully transferred from wild relatives to cultivated species.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Crop Science Society of America
Copyright: © 2013 The Authors.
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