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NUTRITION

ICRISAT, NRGene collaborate to create pigeon pea, chickpea assembly lines
Thursday, 31 May, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ness Ziona
Scientists from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), headquartered in India, in collaboration with NRGene, Israel, have helped create multiple assembly lines of pigeonpea and chickpea genomes, with the help of the latter’s DeNovoMAGIC 3.0.

This will simplify the process of breeding high-nutritional varieties of the two high-protein legumes. With this technology, ICRISAT has chickpea and pigeon pea genomes to a reference-level quality, that researchers can use. This would help maximise favourable nutritional properties of the legumes.

If traditional methods were used, the genomic processes would have taken years. Thanks to DeNovoMAGIC 3.0, they have been completed in just a few months. This means scientists can not only better understand crop traits, but they can also significantly speed up work on improved varieties.

“While DeNovoMAGIC has been successfully deployed by the world’s leading seed companies and academic institutions, implementing this for organisations like ICRISAT enhances our mission of making an impact on the world food supply,” said Gil Ronen, chief exectuive officer, NRGene.

“Chickpea, pigeon pea, and other protein-rich legumes will be even more critical crops in the years to come, and we are glad that our technology can be used to improve the nutrition status of the world,” he added.

“The developing world has long faced the pressures of food security with limited farmland,” stated Rajeev K Varshney, research programme director, genetic gains, and director, Centre of Excellence in Genomics and Systems Biology, ICRISAT.

“For the effective use of genomics-assisted breeding, we need reference genomes of several varieties of a given crop. Therefore, new assemblies of chickpea and pigeon pea lines by NRGene and ICRISAT will allow our scientists and partners to better understand plant traits to breed more nutritional varieties,” he added.

ICRISAT, in partnership with other institutions, has already decoded and documented genomes of pigeon pea and chickpea ( and ). 
 
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