• Pooran M Gaur

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Advances in genetics and molecular breeding of three legume crops of semi-arid tropics using next-generation sequencing and high-throughput genotyping technologies

      Rajeev K Varshney Himabindu Kudapa Manish Roorkiwal Mahendar Thudi Manish K Pandey Rachit K Saxena Siva K Chamarthi Murali Mohan S Nalini Mallikarjuna Hari Upadhyaya Pooran M Gaur L Krishnamurthy K B Saxena Shyam N Nigam Suresh Pande

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      Molecular markers are the most powerful genomic tools to increase the efficiency and precision of breeding practices for crop improvement. Progress in the development of genomic resources in the leading legume crops of the semi-arid tropics (SAT), namely, chickpea (Cicer arietinum), pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) and groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), as compared to other crop species like cereals, has been very slow. With the advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) and high-throughput (HTP) genotyping methods, there is a shift in development of genomic resources including molecular markers in these crops. For instance, 2,000 to 3,000 novel simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers have been developed each for chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut. Based on Sanger, 454/FLX and Illumina transcript reads, transcriptome assemblies have been developed for chickpea (44,845 transcript assembly contigs, or TACs) and pigeonpea (21,434 TACs). Illumina sequencing of some parental genotypes of mapping populations has resulted in the development of 120 million reads for chickpea and 128.9 million reads for pigeonpea. Alignment of these Illumina reads with respective transcriptome assemblies have provided > 10,000 SNPs each in chickpea and pigeonpea. A variety of SNP genotyping platforms including GoldenGate, VeraCode and Competitive Allele Specific PCR (KASPar) assays have been developed in chickpea and pigeonpea. By using above resources, the first-generation or comprehensive genetic maps have been developed in the three legume speciesmentioned above. Analysis of phenotyping data together with genotyping data has provided candidate markers for drought-tolerance-related root traits in chickpea, resistance to foliar diseases in groundnut and sterility mosaic disease (SMD) and fertility restoration in pigeonpea. Together with these trait-associated markers along with those already available, molecular breeding programmes have been initiated for enhancing drought tolerance, resistance to fusarium wilt and ascochyta blight in chickpea and resistance to foliar diseases in groundnut. These trait-associated robust markers along with other genomic resources including genetic maps and genomic resources will certainly accelerate crop improvement programmes in the SAT legumes.

    • Phylogenetic diversity of Mesorhizobium in chickpea

      Dong Hyun Kim Mayank Kaashyap Abhishek Rathore Roma R Das Swathi Parupalli Hari D Upadhyaya S Gopalakrishnan Pooran M Gaur Sarvjeet Singh Jagmeet Kaur Mohammad Yasin Rajeev K Varshney

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      Crop domestication, in general, has reduced genetic diversity in cultivated gene pool of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) as compared with wild species (C. reticulatum, C. bijugum). To explore impact of domestication on symbiosis, 10 accessions of chickpeas, including 4 accessions of C. arietinum, and 3 accessions of each of C. reticulatum and C. bijugum species, were selected and DNAs were extracted from their nodules. To distinguish chickpea symbiont, preliminary sequences analysis was attempted with 9 genes (16S rRNA, atpD, dnaJ, glnA, gyrB, nifH, nifK, nodD and recA) of which 3 genes (gyrB, nifK and nodD) were selected based on sufficient sequence diversity for further phylogenetic analysis. Phylogenetic analysis and sequence diversity for 3 genes demonstrated that sequences from C. reticulatum were more diverse. Nodule occupancy by dominant symbiont also indicated that C. reticulatum (60%) could have more various symbionts than cultivated chickpea (80%). The study demonstrated that wild chickpeas (C. reticulatum) could be used for selecting more diverse symbionts in the field conditions and it implies that chickpea domestication affected symbiosis negatively in addition to reducing genetic diversity.

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