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Molecular genetics and breeding of grain legume crops for the Semi-Arid Tropics

Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131, Hoisington, D.A., Upadhyaya, H.D., Gaur, P.M., Nigam, S.N., Saxena, K., Vadez, V., Sethy, N.K., Bhatia, S., Aruna, R., Channabyre Gowda, M.V. and Singh, N.K. (2007) Molecular genetics and breeding of grain legume crops for the Semi-Arid Tropics. In: Varshney, R.K. and Tuberosa, R., (eds.) Genomics-Assisted Crop Improvement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 207-241.

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Grain legumes are important crops for providing key components in the diets of resource-poor people of the semi-arid tropic (SAT) regions of the world. Although there are several grain legume crops grown in SAT, the present chapter deals with three important legumes i.e. groundnut or peanut (Arachis hypogaea), chickpea (Cicer arietinum) and pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan). Production of these legume crops are challenged by serious abiotic stresses e.g. drought, salinity as well as several fungal, viral and nematode diseases. To tackle these constraints through molecular breeding, some efforts have been initiated to develop genomic resources e.g. molecular markers, molecular genetic maps, expressed sequence tags (ESTs), macro-/micro- arrays, bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs), etc. These genomic resources together with recently developed genetic and genomics strategies e.g. functional molecular markers, linkage-disequilibrium (LD) based association mapping, functional and comparative genomics offer the possibility of accelerating molecular breeding for abiotic and biotic stress tolerances in the legume crops. However, low level of polymorphism present in the cultivated genepools of these legume crops, imprecise phenotyping of the germplasm and the higher costs of development and application of genomic tools are critical factors in utilizing genomics in breeding of these legume crops.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Springer, Dordrecht
Copyright: © 2007 Springer
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