The drivers and methodologies for exploiting wild Cajanus genome in pigeonpea breeding

Abstract

With the exception of Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh (pigeonpea), the remaining species of genus Cajanus have not been domesticated. For millennia these taxa have persisted in natural habitats through self-sown seeds. These wild species are an asset for sustaining future pigeonpea breeding programmes since they contain certain traits (genes) that are necessary for encountering various breeding challenges related to crop improvement and adaptation. In this review we identify the key traits from wild Cajanus species, and discuss various physical and genetic constraints encountered in their utilization in introgression breeding. Some noteworthy achievements recorded from inter-specific breeding programmes in pigeonpea are also discussed. These include the development of (1) high protein (> 28%) genotypes (2) cytoplasmic nuclear male sterility systems (3) highly (> 95%) self-pollinating genotypes, and (4) resistance sources to sterility mosaic disease, nematodes, salinity, photo-insensitivity, pod borers, podfly, bruchids, and Phytophthora blight. To help pigeonpea breeders engaged in inter-specific breeding programmes, we suggest the division of the secondary gene pool germplasm into two sub-group/tiers on the basis of ease in hybridization.

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Acknowledgements

Authors are thankful to the Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India; United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Crop Trust; Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and ICRISAT for funding various projects related to pigeonpea. This work has been undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC). ICRISAT is a member of CGIAR Consortium.

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Saxena, K.B., Saxena, R.K., Sharma, S. et al. The drivers and methodologies for exploiting wild Cajanus genome in pigeonpea breeding. Euphytica 214, 222 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10681-018-2298-9

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Keywords

  • Cajanus
  • Gene introgression
  • Pigeonpea
  • Useful traits
  • Wild species