Strategies for breeding, production and promotion of pigeonpea hybrids in India
With the release of GTH-1 the world’s first CMS hybrid in pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.], the breeding of hybrids in this important pulse crop has become a reality. At present three early duration pigeonpea hybrids with yield advantage of >30% have been identified/released in India.This has been possible due to breeders’ success in developing stable cytoplsmic nuclear male sterility (CMS) system and selection of stable restorers. The large-scale hybrid seed production is facilitated by insect-aided natural out-crossing and hybrid yields of 1000-1500 kg /ha have been harvested by the growers. To sustain this breakthrough in pigeonpea it is necessary to identify, evaluate and maintain the perfect CMS line (A and B lines) along with good restorers on a regular basis. In this paper, an attempt has been made to consolidate strategies related to the development of new hybrids, their seed production technology and promotion in the country.