dbt.necab@aau.ac.in   +91 70869 25802
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Genetic improvement of chickpea using gene technology for resistance to insect pests

The gene technology programme of the centre is focused on development and improvement of grain legumes towards resistance to insect pest. Currently two important grain legumes (chickpea and blackgram) are included in the programme. The research team is constantly putting effort to meet all prerequisites stated below for a successful commercialization of Helicoverpa resistant transgenic lines:

Scientific Team:

Dr Bidyut Kumar Sarmah (Programme leader), Dr Sumita Acharjee (PI), Dr A M Baruah (Co-PI), Dr Sarvjeet Singh, PAU, Ludhiana (Collaborator), Dr Ishwarappa S Katageri, UASD, Karnataka (Collaborator)

Advisors: Dr T J V Higgins, CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Canberra

  • Development of transgenic chickpea using new versions of Bt Cry gene and Vip gene to confer protection against pod borers​

  • Generate information on T-DNA flanking sequences, levels of transgenic protein(s), transgene(s) stability and transmission, homozygosity, and phenotype of line​

  • Collaborate with public and private partners within India and its neighbouring countries for introgression breeding programmes using selected Bt-chickpea lines to generate lines for event evaluation / BRL trials

Salient Achievements:
  • Generated Helicoverpa protected chickpea lines expressing either a truncated or full-length Cry1Ac lines; chloroplast targeted lines (Acharjee, S, et al., 2012, Indian Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding) (Acharjee, S, et al., 2010, Plant Science)​

  • Identified homozygous lines (100B, 100E, 80C, 91A) with single copy of a Cry1Ac gene and complete protection to Helicoverpa larvae

  • Performed whole genome sequencing of line 100B and obtain information on the flanking sequences and developed event ID of the line 100B

  • Compositional analyses reveal no significant difference between untransformed and transformed plants (Gupta et al, 2020, GM Crops & Food ; Gupta et al., 2020, Legume Research - An International Journal )

  • Generated advanced backcross (BC3F2) progeny in popular cultivar using Cry1Ac line and Cry2Aa line as donors (PAU and USAD and Sungro Seeds Ltd.)

  • Collate data for the application to be submitted to the RCGM for field trials

Expected outputs:
  • Submission of Biosafety dossiers to the GEAC for approval of release of Bt chickpea lines in India​

  • Pyramided Bt chickpea lines with enhanced resistance to pod borers

  • Targeted genome edited Vip3A chickpea lines for durable resistance