A new genetically engineered chickpea with high drought tolerance and high iron and zinc content in seeds developed by a team of experts from the Department of Biotechnology's New Delhi-based National Institute of Plant Genome Research, University of Hyderabad and Indian Institute of Pulses Research.
Chickpea is a major source of protein in India. It is planted predominantly in semi-arid areas during post-monsoon season. Thus, developing high-yielding chickpea varieties that can tolerate periodic water-deficit conditions is vital. Improving the mineral content is also necessary for nutritional benefit. Thus, the researchers developed the drought-tolerant chickpea variety with high iron and zinc content in the seed by lowering the level of the plant growth substance known as cytokinin in the root.
(Source: Crop Biotech Update, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. www.isaaa.org)