Biotech Updates

Scientists Decode 90 Lines of Chickpea Genome

January 30, 2013

An international team of scientists, led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India has completed high-quality sequencing of not just one but ninety genomes of chickpea. The research project, which involve 49 scientists from 23 organizations in 10 countries was able to identify an estimated 28,269 genes of chickpea after sequencing CDC Frontier, a kabuli (large-seeded) chickpea variety. Re-sequencing of additional 90 genotypes provided millions of genetic markers and low diversity genome regions that may be used in the development of superior varieties with enhanced drought tolerance and disease resistance.

Chickpea is the second largest cultivated grain food legume in the world, grown in about 11.5 million hectares mostly by resource poor farmers in the semi-arid tropics. The highly nutritious, drought tolerant chickpea contributes to income generation and improved livelihoods of smallholder farmers in African countries like Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya, and is crucial to the food security in India. The said crop is also an important component of the pulse industry in Australia, Canada, and USA.

View ICRISAT's news release at The link to the full paper on Nature Biotechnology Journal is available at