Indigenous food legumes of Asia: germplasm conservation, diversity and utilization in crop improvement uri icon


  • Pigeonpea, chickpea, lentil, urdbean and mungbean are important food legumes indigenous to Asia. A large number of accessions of these crops have been assembled and conserved in the genebanks at ICRISAT; ICARDA; NBPGR, India; NARC, Pakistan; AVRDC, Taiwan; BARI, Bangladesh and NPGRL, Philippines; AVRDC, Taiwan; USDA, USA. The collections have been characterized for morphoagronomic traits and large variation was observed. Several sources of resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses have been identified and 9 pigeonpea and 14 chickpea accessions from ICRISAT and 25 chickpea and 10 lentil accessions from ICARDA have been released as cultivars in different countries. Use of germplasm in breeding programs has been very low due to lack of information on economic traits and size of the collections. Development of core (10% of entire collection) and mini core (about 1% of entire collection) collections of these crops helped in identifying genetically diverse accessions resistant to abiotic and biotic stresses

publication date

  • 2007