A group of scientists from Himachal Agriculture University has cracked a genome sequence of Horse gram, locally known as Kulthi, which will help in developing high-yielding seed varieties. The scientists at the Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalay (CSK HPKV) decoded the genome sequence of Horse gram variety HPK4 under a programme funded by both the central government and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Announcing the breakthrough, CSK HPKV Vice Chancellor Ashok Kumar Sarial said it will pave the way for developing genomic tools which can aid genomics-assisted breeding in this underutilised, potential pulse crop and identify key genes responsible for economic traits. With no genomic information previously available for this crop, the scientists have identified 36,000 genes in Horse gram species which can be utilised for future breeding. Horse gram is an indigenous legume of north-western Himalayan region having many nutraceutical properties.
It is highly suitable for cultivation in rainfed areas. The varsity's agri-biotechnology department professors Rakesh Kumar Chahota and T R Sharma as well as Sachiko Isobe from Japan's Kazusa DNA Research Institute worked on this research work.
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