Pigeon pea genome sequenced
An international research team, led by India-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT - Hyderabad) and Chinese genomics company BGI (Shenzen), has completed sequencing the pigeonpea ( Cajanus cajan) genome. This is the first orphan crop, the first non-industrial crop and the second food legume (after soybeans) with a completed genome sequence. Pigeonpeas are an important protein source in tropical semi-arid regions. India is the largest producer of pigeonpeas, growing 85% of the global 5 million ha. Currently, pigeonpea yields are around 0.9 tonnes/ha in Asia and 0.7 tonnes/ha in Africa, but the crop has the potential to yield 2.5 tonnes/ha, say the researchers.