Basavarajeshwari R, Rajashekar Reddy B H, Manoa Iranacolaivalu, Deepika Muddaraj and Shankar A G
Pigeonpea is an important legume crop predominantly produced by small hold farmers in semi arid tropics and subtropics. It is a prominent dietary source of protein, supplementing vegetarian diet in developing countries but its micronutrient content is suboptimal in cultivated varieties. As zinc deficiency is increasingly acknowledged as one of the most serious public health problems, tapping pigeonpeas potential for grain zinc improvement using focused molecular breeding approach stands essential. In order to design a strategy to improve zinc content in pigeonpea, 240 germplasm lines of pigeonpea procured from ICRISAT were phenotyped for grain zinc content and biomass related traits. Significant variability was observed for grain zinc and biomass related traits, where zinc content ranged from 1.53 mg to 6.95 mg/100 g, mean zinc content being 3.06 mg/gm. Further, seed zinc content of all germplasm lines were reconfirmed and selected five contrasting genotypes showing consistent ranking in zinc content under common growing condition. Selected contrasts were crossed to generate mapping population. Further, these parents were screened with 171 locus specific SSR markers, of which 64 SSRs are polymorphic. Using polymorphic markers true F 1 s were identified and selfed to develop F 2 mapping population. A set of 265 F 2 plants have been developed and genotyped to carry out QTL analysis for grain zinc content. The phenotyping will be carried out in F 3 seeds.
Basavarajeshwari R has completed her MSc in Crop Physiology from University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore and presently pursuing her PhD in Dept. of Crop Physiology, UAS Bangalore. She is interested in molecular breeding with respect to crop quality improvement.