Icrisat identifies climate resilient germplasm to support chickpea breeding

Written by | January 25, 2014 | 0

HYDERABAD Jan 25: In what is being described as a significant contribution to the fight against hunger and climate change, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (Icrisat) has identified 40 germplasm lines of chickpea with resistance to extreme weather conditions such as drought, high temperature and salinity.

The climate resilient germplasm lines are expected to further strengthen Icrisat’s efforts to develop adaptation measures and support mitigation measures to help smallholder farmers in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa cope up with the changing climates.

A diverse chickpea mini core germplasm collection consisting of 211 lines was systematically evaluated to identify beneficial traits such as high yield and drought tolerance in the 40 lines. The evaluation of this collection also helped the Icrisat Genebank team identify 31 lines with resistance to pests and diseases. Six germplasm lines of chickpea were found to have resistance for both extreme weather and for pests and diseases.

“Climate change is here and is happening. We have been experiencing extreme weather eventsm like the severe floods in India last year that devastated the northern states and recently, Typhoon Haiyan that ravaged the Philippines. You will see more of these extreme events which will also adversely affect agriculture. Under these circumstances, the findings by the Icrisat Genebank team will help the smallholder farmers close crop yield gaps significantly,” said Icrisat Director General Dr William Dar.

The rich and diverse germplasm resources available at the Icrisat Genebank have been helping plant breeders in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa as sources of beneficial traits to develop new high-yielding and resilient varieties with better quality to boost production of food crops like chickpea, even under a climate change regime.

Filed in: Hyderabad

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