Pure line breeding is a resource-intensive activity that takes 10 years or more to develop a new cultivar. In some crops, conducting off-season nurseries has significantly reduced the length of the breeding cycle. This approach could not be exploited in pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.], because traditionally it has been a photoperiod-sensitive crop that requires long periods of darkness to induce flowering. However, the recent success of breeding early maturing photoperiod-insensitive genotypes has opened up the possibility of adopting ‘speed breeding’ techniques to enable rapid generation turnover. This paper outlines a speed breeding approach that integrates the use of immature seed germination for rapid generation advancement and a “single pod descent” method of breeding. To accelerate line development, while conserving genetic variability, the approach permits four generations per year and can fast-track field evaluation of resulting homozygous lines. Therefore, the breeding strategy conserves resources and has potential to deliver new early maturing cultivars within a substantially reduced timeframe of 4–5 years.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Balkrishanan K, Vanangamudi KM, Natarajaratnam N (1984) Seed development and maturation studies in pigeonpea. Madras Agric J 71:387–390
Brim CA (1966) A modified pedigree method of selection in soybeans. Crop Sci 6:220
DePaw RM, Clarke JM (1976) Acceleration of generation advancement in spring wheat. Euphytica 25:415–418
Dubs WE, Grimes HD (2000) Specific lipo-oxyyenase isoforms accumulation in distinct regions of soybean pod walls and mark a unique cell layers. Plant Physiol 123:1269–1280
Fehr WR (1991) Principles of cultivar development: vol 1. Theory and practices. Agronomy Books, p 1. https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/agron_books/1
Gaur PM, Srinivasan S, Gowda CLL, Rao BV (2007) Rapid generation advancement in chickpea. SAT eJ 3:1
Ghosh S, Watson A, Gonzalez-Navarro OE, Ramirez-Gonzalez RH, Yanes L, Mendoza-Suárez M, Simmonds J, Wells R, Rayner T, Green P, Hafeez A, Hayta S, Melton RE, Steed A, Sarkar A, Carter J, Perkins L, Lord J, Tester M, Osbourn A, Moscou MJ, Nicholson P, Harwood W, Martin C, Domoney C, Uauy C, Hazard B, Wulff BBH, Hickey LT (2018) Speed breeding in growth chambers and glasshouses for crop breeding and model plant research. Nat Protoc 13:2944–2963
Goulden CH (1941). In: Proceedings of the 7th international congress genetics, vol 1039, pp 132–133
Hickey LT, Amber NH, Robinson H, Jackson SA, Leal-Bertioli SCM, Tester M, Gao C, Godwin ID, Hayes BJ, Wulff BBH (2019) Breeding crops to feed 10 billion. Nat Biotechnol 37:744–754
Li H, Rasheed A, Hickey L, He Z (2018) Fast-forwarding genetic gain. Trend Plant Sci 23:184–186
Mobini SH, Warkentin TD (2016) A simple and efficient method of in vivo rapid generation technology in pea (Pisum sativum L.). Vitro Cell Dev Plant 52:530–536
Mobini SH, Lulsdorf M, Warkentin D, Vandenberg A (2015) Plant growth regulators improve in vitro flowering and rapid generation advancement in lentil and faba bean. Vitro Cell Dev Plant 51:71–79
Mukade K, Kamio M, Hosada K (1973) The acceleration of generation advancement in breeding rust resistant wheat. In: Proceedings of the 4th international wheat breeding genetics symposium. Missouri Agril. Expt., Station, Columbia, pp 439–441
O’Connor DJ, Wright GC, Dieters MJ, George DL, Hunter MN, Tatnell JR, Fleischfresser DB (2013) Development and application of speed breeding technologies in a commercial peanut breeding program. Peanut Sci 40:107–114
Quint M, Gray WM (2006) Auxin signalling. Curr Opin Plant Biol 9:448–453
Rao MKV, Rao GR (1975) Growth, respiration and endogenous auxins on developing and germinating seeds of pigeonpea (Cajanus indicus Spreng). Seed Res 3:1–10
Saxena KB (1981) Report of work carried out. University of Queensland, St. Lucia, p 44
Saxena KB (1996) Rapid generation turnover in short duration pigeonpea. Int Chickpea Pigeonpea Newsl 3:57–59
Saxena KB, Saxena RK, Varshney RK (2017) Use of immature seed germination and single seed descent for rapid genetic gains in pigeonpea. Plant Breed 136:954–957
Silim SN, Gwata ET, Coeb R, Omanga PA (2007) Response of pigeonpea genotypes of different maturity duration to temperature and photoperiod in Kenya. Afr Crop Sci J 15:73–81
Singh U, Jambunathan R, Narayanan A (1980) Biochemical changes in developing seeds of pigeonpea (Cajanus cajanus). Phytochemistry 19:1291–1295
Singh IP, Bohra A, Singh F (2016) An overview of varietal development program of pigeonpea in India. Legume Perspect 11:39–42
Srivastava RK, Vales MI, Sultana R, Saxena KB, Kumar RV, Thanki HP, Sandhu JS, Choudhary KN (2012) Development of super early pigeonpea with good yield potential from early × early crosses. J SAT Agric Res 10:1–6
Turnbull LV, Whiteman PC, Byth DE (1981) Influence of temperature and photoperiod on floral development of early flowering pigeonpea. In: Proceedings of the international workshop on pigeonpeas, vol 2. ICRISAT, Patancheru, pp 217–222
Vales MI, Srivastava RK, Sultana R, Singh S, Singh I, Singh G, Patil SB, Saxena KB (2012) Breeding for earliness in pigeonpea: development of new determinate and non-determinate lines. Crop Sci 52:2507–2516
Wallis ES, Byth DE, Saxena KB (1981) Flowering responses of thirty-seven early maturing lines of pigeonpea. In: Proceedings of the international workshop on pigeonpeas, vol 2. ICRISAT, Patancheru, pp 143–159
Watson A, Ghosh S, Williams MJ et al (2017) Speed breeding is a powerful tool to accelerate crop research and breeding. Nat Plants. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-017-0083-8
Zheng Z, Wang H, Chen G, Yan G, Liu C (2013) A procedure allowing up to eight generations of wheat and nine generations of barley per annum. Euphytica 191:311–316
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); Department of Biotechnology, Government of India; Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Karnataka and ICRISAT for funding various research activities in pigeonpea. This work has been undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC). ICRISAT is a member of CGIAR Consortium.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Saxena, K.B., Saxena, R.K., Hickey, L.T. et al. Can a speed breeding approach accelerate genetic gain in pigeonpea?. Euphytica 215, 202 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10681-019-2520-4
- Early maturing cultivars
- Immature seed germination
- Rapid generation turnover
- Single pod descent method