Crop Biotech Update

ICRISAT Identifies Climate Resilient Germplasm for Chickpea Breeding

January 29, 2014

In a major advancement to climate change-ready crops research, 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. These findings are the result of a 14-year effort by the team led by Dr. Hari Upadhyaya, Head of Genebank at ICRISAT, and are published in the paper "Mini Core Collection as a Resource to Identify New Sources of Variation" featured in the prestigious journal Crop Science by the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA).

ICRISAT Director General Dr. William Dar said "Climate change is here and is happening. We have been experiencing extreme weather events like the severe floods in India last year that devastated the northern states and recently, Typhoon Haiyan that ravaged the Philippines. The findings by the ICRISAT Genebank team will help the smallholder farmers close crop yield gaps significantly." He warns that such extreme events would only increase, adversely affecting agriculture.

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.

For more information, read the ICRISAT news release at: http://www.icrisat.org/newsroom/news-releases/icrisat-pr-2014-media5.htm.