Pigeonpea improvement: An amalgam of breeding and genomic research
In the past five decades, constant research has been directed towards yield improvement in pigeonpea resulting in the deployment of several commercially acceptable cultivars in India. Though, the genesis of hybrid technology, the biggest breakthrough, enigma of stagnant productivity still remains unsolved. To sort this productivity disparity, genomic research along with conventional breeding was successfully initiated at ICRISAT. It endowed ample genomic resource providing insight in the pigeonpea genome combating production constraints in a precise and speedy manner. The availability of the draft genome sequence with a large‐scale marker resource, oriented the research towards trait mapping for flowering time, determinacy, fertility restoration, yield attributing traits and photo‐insensitivity. Defined core and mini‐core collection, still eased the pigeonpea breeding being accessible for existing genetic diversity and developing stress resistance. Modern genomic tools like next‐generation sequencing, genome‐wide selection helping in the appraisal of selection efficiency is leading towards next‐generation breeding, an awaited milestone in pigeonpea genetic enhancement. This paper emphasizes the ongoing genetic improvement in pigeonpea with an amalgam of conventional breeding as well as genomic research.