Pigeonpea uri icon

abstract

  • Pigeonpea is one of the major grain legumes grown in the tropics and subtropics of the world that forms a significant component of the diet due to its high protein content. Most of the differences in potential and realized yields in pigeonpea have been attributed to several biotic and abiotic constraints; besides the low productivity potential of marginal lands, where this crop is commonly grown. Of the various constraints limiting pigeonpea production, insect pests cause substantial damages. Conventional breeding efforts in pigeonpea crop improvement have been successful in producing improved seed quality and reduction of crop maturity duration. Nevertheless, genetic improvement of pigeonpea has been restricted due to the nonavailability of better genetic resources and strong sexual barriers between the cultivated and wild species. The recent developments in plant genetic engineering have provided immense potential in overcoming some of these constraints, thereby, offering opportunities for its successful integration with conventional crop improvement strategies. This chapter describes the pigeonpea crop, various constraints to its productivity, recent developments in its breeding, and emerging transgenic innovations that could play a significant role in the improvement of pigeonpea crop. We also highlight the current status of pigeonpea transgenics and related biosafety and IPR issues for the successful application of this technology in the near future

publication date

  • 2008