Scientists from the National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR) in India have successfully developed a new high-yielding transgenic desi chickpea variety.
The research group used the chickpea cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase gene expressed under the chickpea WRKY31 gene promoter. The WRKY31 gene promoter was selected to modulate the cytokinin level in roots and investigate the effect of cytokinin depletion in root growth and architecture, and subsequently, on yield and productivity of chickpea. The transgenic lines were advanced up to fourth generation (T4) and results showed that T4 lines tolerate periodic water-limited conditions and possess higher seed mineral contents. A robust increase in root network was also recorded without any apparent negative effect on the shoot.
The transgenic chickpea lines showed higher seed yields of up to 25 percent, and the seeds contained higher levels of zinc, iron, potassium, and copper.
(Source: Crop Biotech Update, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications.