Genetic enhancement of pigeonpea for high latitude areas in southern Africa uri icon


  • Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.) is becoming increasingly important in small-holder farmingsystems in southern Africa. Abiotic factors such as sensitivity to photoperiod and terminal droughtfrequently reduce yields in the region. Sensitivity to photoperiod results in delayed flowering andmaturity which in turn leads to increased susceptibility to terminal drought stress, low wintertemperatures, frost as well as interference from free-ranging domestic livestock. The objective of this study was to develop enhanced early maturing pigeonpea types that are suitable for production in the cropping systems prevalent in southern Africa. Segregating populations (through F9) were developed from crossing combinations between five parental genotypes possessing marked differences in the genetic control of period to flowering and maturity as well as good agronomic and end-use characters.Using morphological markers and agronomic performance indicators, six elite cultivars with enhanced duration to flowering (97 d), maturity (161 d) and high yield potential (3.0 t/ha) were identified following field evaluation for two consecutive seasons at a representative testing location in the prospective production region. The seed of this elite germplasm was disseminated to growers in order to facilitate adoption and to increase the flexibility of pigeonpea production in the region

publication date

  • 2009