Bengal Gram Current Affairs - 2019

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ICRISAT-led team identifies Climate-Resilient Genes in Chickpea

Recently, an international collaboration of 20 research organizations led by Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) identified climate resilient genes in chickpea. They cracked genetic code to develop climate resilient chickpea with genes for heat tolerance and genes for drought tolerance.

Key Findings

  • Scientists study based on complete genome sequencing of 429 chickpea lines from 45 different countries, identified that chickpea has four important genes for heat tolerance and three important genes for drought tolerance.
  • Application: Identification of these climate-resistant genes will help in developing newer chickpea varieties which can tolerate temperatures up to 38°C.
  • The identification of other genes with important agronomic traits (high yield, test weight, kernel weight, maturity, plant height, and lodging resistance) will help in increasing crop yield and providing better resistance to pests and diseases.

Chickpea:

  • It is an annual legume of Fabaceae family and is highly rich in protein.
  • It is also known by name of gram, Bengal Gram, Garbanzo, Garbanzo bean, and Egyptian pea.
  • It is a cool season crop. In India, it is sown in September-October and harvested in January-February. In 2016, India produced 64% of world’s total chickpeas.
  • More than 90% of chickpea cultivation area is in South Asia, including India as it is important in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
  • It originated in Mediterranean/south-west Asia and migrated to south Asia.
  • Globally, more than 70% of its yield is lost due to drought and increasing temperatures.

ICRISAT: The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics

  • It is an international non-profit organization whichundertakes agricultural research for rural development in the semi-arid tropics (SAT) region. It was established in 1972,
  • and its charter was signed by the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It is headquartered in Hyderabad, Telangana, India.
  • It performs crop improvement research on crops like Chickpea, Pigeonpea, Groundnut, Pearl millet, Sorghum, Finger Millet and Small millets.
  • The Semi-Arid Tropics (SAT) region: It is a region characterised by highly variable, low to medium rainfall, poor soils, and lack of irrigation, thus considered to be a less favoured area (LFA).