New high-yielding pigeonpea variety set for release in India, more to come

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Researchers from ARS Tandur, IIPR Kanpur and ICRISAT monitoring progress in collaborative projects. Photo: C Sudhakar, ARS-Tandur

Researchers from ARS Tandur, IIPR Kanpur and ICRISAT monitoring progress in collaborative projects. Photo: C Sudhakar, ARS-Tandur

DRG 59, a high-yielding variety of pigeonpea resistant to Fusarium wilt and sterility mosaic diseases, has been identified for cultivation in India’s south zone. The new variety produced 23.13% higher yield than the national check in three-year trials conducted by the All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on pigeonpea.

Developed by ICRISAT and Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University’s (PJTSAU) Agricultural Research Station in Tandur, TDRG 59 was identified by AICRP in June 2021. Also known as ICPL 99050, the variety produced an average yield of 1719 kg/ha or 23.13% higher than ICPL 8863 (national check) and 26.21% higher than CO 8 (local check) in multi-location trials. The fungal disease Fusarium wilt and the viral disease caused by the sterility mosaic virus are two diseases that significantly lower pigeonpea yields. ICRISAT developed the line which was taken up for testing and evaluation by the research station.

“After nine years in the making, TDRG 59 is ready for release. It is a medium-duration variety and matures within 170 days. The variety will become available to farmers after the Central Varietal Release Committee (CVRC) notifies it,” said Dr Rachit Saxena, Senior Scientist, Applied Genomics, ICRISAT. The south zone for pigeonpea cultivation covers the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Bheema (GRG-152), a high-yielding disease-resistant variety released for cultivation in central zone of India. The images depict field view, seed color, dhal color and the variety’s superiority when under disease pressure. Photo: S Muniswamy, ZARS-Kalaburagi

Bheema (GRG-152), a high-yielding disease-resistant variety released for cultivation in central zone of India. The images depict field view, seed color, dhal color and the variety’s superiority when under disease pressure. Photo: S Muniswamy, ZARS-Kalaburagi

Some more pigeonpea

Bheema, a pigeonpea variety that resulted from ICRISAT’s collaboration with University of Agricultural Sciences Raichur’s Zonal Agricultural Research Station (ZARS) in Kalaburagi (Karnataka state) was among the recent varieties notified by the CVRC. Bheema was identified for release in India’s central zone covering the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh. Bheema matures in 165 days and has high resistance to Fusarium wilt and sterility mosaic virus.

ICRISAT and ZARS-Kalaburagi are also using genomics to improve pigeonpea in a first-of-its-kind effort for this crop. Three advanced breeding lines (NAM88, NAM92 and NAM151) that were developed by ICRISAT through a technique called Nested Association Mapping (NAM) were evaluated for two years by ZARS at Kalaburagi. Subsequently, they were picked up for AICRP’s Initial Varietal Trails (IVT) in 2021.

“These lines were found to have high yield potential, good seed size and adaptation. The three lines have the potential to fulfill the need for good cultivars in early (NAM88) and mid-early (NAM92 and NAM151) maturity groups,” said Dr Rajeev Varshney, Research Program Director for Accelerated Crop Improvement, ICRISAT.

For more on our work on pigeonpea, click here.

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  • Delivering more produce and income to farmers through enhancing genetic gains for chickpea and pigeonpea
  • Pigeonpea improvement using molecular breeding
  • Genomics-assisted breeding for high yielding and climate resilient pigeonpea varieties/hybrids and promotion of best suitable cultivars for food and nutritional security in Karnataka state of India

Funders: Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India; United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Karnataka.

Partners: Agricultural Research Station, Tandur, Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University; Zonal Agricultural Research Station, Kalaburagi (UAS, Raichur)
and ICRISAT

CGIAR Research Program: Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC)

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This work contributes to UN Sustainable Development Goal.
1-no-poverty 2-zero-hunger good-health 17-partnerships-goals

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