In vitro propagation of Cajanus cajan × C. cajanifolius hybrid and its characterization using cyto-morphological and SSR markers


Cajanus cajanifolius, the putative progenitor species of pigeonpea (C. cajan), has many agro-economic traits that deserve attention for introgression into pigeonpea cultivars. However, unidirectional compatibility creates barriers for interspecific hybridization and alien gene transfer between these two species. In the present study, very low percentage of pod setting and F1 seed germination were observed. Thus, attempts were made for the propagation of interspecific F1 hybrids in vitro, and an efficient in vitro propagation protocol has been optimized. Excised cotyledonary explants of F1 hybrids were cultured on both MS and Blaydes’ medium supplemented with NAA, BAP and GA3 at various combinations and concentrations. MS medium with BAP (25 μM) was most suitable for multiple shoot induction. MS medium was found to be superior for both multiple shoot and root induction from cotyledonary explants. Cyto-morphological and SSR marker based analysis confirmed the hybridity of the micro-propagated F1 plantlets. Meiocytes of the regenerated F1 hybrids experienced chromosome heteromorphism during diakinesis leading to laggard and bridge formation at anaphase-I. The present study evidenced the scope of interspecific hybridization between C. cajan and C. cajanifolius aiming at transmission of stress tolerant genes from C. cajanifolius to the cultivated gene pool of pigeonpea for broadening its genetic base.

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The authors are grateful to the International Foundation for Science, Sweden for the financial assistance through the Young Scientist scheme (C-4584-1) to the author (JP), and to the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi for providing INSPIRE Fellowship (DST/INSPIRE Fellowship/2013/383) to the author (SKM).

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Correspondence to Jogeswar Panigrahi.

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Panda, S., Mishra, S.K., Naik, A. et al. In vitro propagation of Cajanus cajan × C. cajanifolius hybrid and its characterization using cyto-morphological and SSR markers. Nucleus 61, 83–93 (2018).

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  • Interspecific hybrid
  • In vitro culture
  • Meiosis
  • SSR marker
  • Hybridity