A high-yielding and wilt resistant variety with a yield potential double to that of existing varieties* was developed through genomics-assisted breeding and released for cultivation in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra by the Central Varietal Release Committee, Government of India.
Pusa Chickpea 20211 variety (aka Pusa Chickpea Manav) recorded an overall weighted mean yield of 2392 kg/ha with a yield potential of 3915 kg/ha under wilt stress conditions over the recurrent parent Pusa 391 which yielded 1877 kg/ha. It was developed through introgression of the “QTL region” for Fusarium wilt resistance from WR 315 line into the chickpea variety Pusa 391. This is an early maturing variety with seed-to-seed maturity of 108 days, fitting well in the rice-based cropping systems. While this improved variety is moderately resistant to dry root rot, collar rot and stunt it is also moderately resistant to pod borer, it has an excellent grain color, size and shape. It has a 100-seed weight of 19.5 g and grain protein content of 18.92 per cent.
“Pusa Chickpea 20211, a high-yielding disease-resistant variety is a testament of successful application of genomics for crop improvement and the fruitful partnership with ICRISAT,” said Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) and Director General, ICAR on the release of the variety developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) – Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in collaboration with ICRISAT.
Dr Jacqueline Hughes, Director General, ICRISAT, while congratulating scientists for developing this variety, said, “We are pleased with this development and committed to such innovations in crop improvement programs that support the farmers in India and elsewhere.”
Dr Chellapilla Bharadwaj, the Principal Breeder of this variety shared his excitement that “this improved chickpea variety will be boon to farmers in Central India where crop productivity is challenged by Fusarium wilt disease.”
Dr Rajeev K Varshney, Research Program Director – Genetic Gains, ICRISAT, who contributed, molecular mapping and genomics support for the development of this variety, said, “It is the need of the hour to include such translational genomics trait deployment to deliver better varieties to farmers”.
Reported by Dr Chellapilla Bharadwaj, Principal Breeder, ICAR-IARI
Read more about ICRISAT work in genomics-assisted breeding on chickpea
* AICRP on Chickpea Annual Report 2019-20