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Icrisat develops new pigeonpea hybrid seed production technology

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The (Icrisat) has developed the technology to produce cytoplasmic male-sterility (CMS) based hybrid pigeonpea from a cross involving cajanus cajanifolius, a wild relative of the cultivated pigeonpea.
Plant breeders can now use this technology to produce stable hybrids for commercialisation, which can almost double the productivity to about 3 tonnes per hectare, in comparison to released commercial varieties.
William Dar, director-general of Icrisat in a press release, said, "The new CMS-based pigeonpea hybrid technology is a breakthrough that takes pigeonpea research into the next quantum. This technology has overcome some of the limitations that had been limiting pigeonpea hybrid research for many years."
The research was made possible through Icrisat 's partnership with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and private-sector companies. Using this technology, Icrisat developed and tested more than 200 hybrids.
Using the CMS-based hybrid technology, pigeonpea experimental hybrids have been developed for all the three maturity groups for the crop, KB Saxena, principal pigeonpea breeder at Icrisat, said.
While the short-duration pigeonpea varieties mature between 120 and 140 days, the medium-duration ones mature between 160 and 180 days, and the long-duration ones take more than 250 days.
The institute has named the CMS system as the Barwale CMS System in Pigeonpea, honouring B R Barwale, chairman of Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company (Mahyco).


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