Biotechnologically generating ‘super chickpea’ for food and nutritional security

Acharjee, S. and Sarmah , B.K. (2013) Biotechnologically generating ‘super chickpea’ for food and nutritional security. Plant Science, 207. pp. 108-116.

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Chickpea productivity is affected by various constraints that are biotic (Helicoverpa, Aphids, Callosobruchus, Bromus and Orobanche) and abiotic (drought and salinity). In addition, the grains of this legume are deficient in sulfur amino acids, methionine and cysteine. The possibilities for genetic improvement by marker-assisted breeding and selection approaches are limited in chickpeas due to their sexually incompatible gene pool. Transgenic chickpeas expressing either the cry1Ac/b or the cry2Aa gene and the bean α-amylase inhibitor gene are resistant to Helicoverpa and bruchids, respectively, but these chickpeas have yet to be commercialized. Unfortunately, attempts to generate transgenic chickpeas with increased tolerance to drought and salinity or with increased methionine content have been less successful. The commercialization of transgenic chickpeas containing a single transgene may not give adequate yield advantage, as chickpeas are affected by many production constraints in the field and in storage. Gene pyramiding by incorporating two or more genes may be useful because improving one trait at a time will be time-consuming, labor-intensive and costly. Use of modern multi-gene vectors that contain recognition sites for zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) and homing endonucleases may simplify the incorporation of multiple genes into chickpeas. This approach necessitates a collaborative effort between individuals, public and private organizations to generate ‘super chickpeas’ that harbor multiple transgenic traits.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: We thank McKnight Foundation, USA; Indo-Swiss Collaboration in Biotechnology Programme Switzerland and the Department of Biotechnology under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, New Delhi; Australia India Strategic Research Fund; National Fund for Basic and Strategic Research in Agriculture (ICAR) for the financial support to carry out chickpea gene technology programme in chickpea that helped us generating the idea of making a ‘super chickpea’ in future using biotechnological tools.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Super chickpea; Cicer arietinum; Production constraints; Genetic modification; Gene technology
Author Affiliation: Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Jorhat 785013, Assam, India
Subjects: Crop Improvement > Genetics/Genomics
Crop Improvement > Biotechnology
Divisions: Chickpea
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2013 05:06
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2013 05:06
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