Genomics-Assisted Breeding Delivers Two Improved Chickpea Varieties in Record Time
Two new chickpea varieties developed in record time through genomic-assisted
breeding with drought tolerance and disease resistance are set to be
launched in India. All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) for
Chickpea identified two desi chickpea (Bengal chana) varieties, 'Pusa 10216'
and 'MABC-WR-SA-1', which were developed by the Indian Council of
Agricultural Research (ICAR)-ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute
(IARI) and University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) in Raichur, Karnataka,
respectively, in collaboration with the International Crops Research
Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
Pusa (BMG) 10216 was developed at IARI in collaboration with ICRISAT. Using
their extensive knowledge of the chickpea genome, Dr. Rajeev Varshney's team
at ICRISAT was able to introgress drought tolerance into the chickpea
variety Pusa 372 with genes from ICC 4958, a drought tolerant chickpea
landrace. The result, Pusa 10216, is the first chickpea variety to have
drought tolerance through molecular breeding, was developed in just four
years. It showed 11.9% increase in yield over Pusa 372 during a two-year
multi-location testing in drought conditions.
The other crop, MABC-WR-SA-1, was developed by inducing fusarium wilt
resistance in Annigeri-1, a variety highly preferred by farmers in
Karnataka. The source of resistance to fusarium wilt was WR315, a chickpea
landrace. With 7% increased yield potential over Annigeri-1, this new
variety is also being called Super Annigeri-1, and was developed by
UAS-Raichur in collaboration with ICRISAT.