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Journal of Applied Genetics 49(3), 2008, pp. 221-227

Development of new cytoplasmic-genetic male-sterile lines in pigeonpea from crosses between Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.and C. scarabaeoides (L.) Thouars

Thiyagarajan Kalaimagal, Arunachalam Muthaiah, Sankaran Rajarathinam, Subramaniam Malini, Nagasamy Nadarajan, Indra Pechiammal

Abstract: Exploitation of hybrid vigour is quite possible in cross-pollinated crops. However, pigeonpea is a grain legume crop with a moderate level of cross-pollination (20-70%), which is mainly aided by insect pollinators. As a first step, hybrids based on genetic male sterility (GMS) were developed in pigeonpea, but the hybrid seed production technique is not farmer-friendly, because in the hybrid seed production plot 50% of the population, which are male-fertile in the female rows, have to be eliminated in time before contamination. This requires skilled labour and is a time-consuming process, which increases the cost of hybrid seed production. Therefore, the objective of this study was to develop cytoplasmic-genetic male-sterile (CGMS) lines in pigeonpea through wide hybridization, which would be very suitable for hybrid seed production. Two CGMS lines, viz. CORG 990052 A and CORG 990047, were developed by interspecific hybridization of Cajanus cajan and C. scarabaeoides. Restorers were identified and three CGMS-based pigeonpea hybrids were developed. The hybrid COPH 3 is found to be promising in Tamil Nadu State, India.

Key words: Cajanus cajan, Cajanus scarabaeoides, fertility restoration, hybrid, male sterility, pigeonpea.

Correspondence: T. Kalaimagal, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Department of Pulses, Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore- 641003, India; email:

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