Nutrient-fortified, drought-tolerant chickpea could provide sustainable protein source for India

chickpeas in a bowl

Chickpea is a major source of protein for the people in India. It is grown mainly in semi-arid regions during the post-monsoon season and face drought during flowering leading to huge drops in yield.

There is a serious need to develop high-yielding chickpea varieties that can tolerate periodic water-deficit conditions and possess higher seed mineral content for nutritional benefit.

A group of scientists from Department of Biotechnology’s New Delhi-based National Institute of Plant Genome Research, University of Hyderabad and Indian Institute of Pulses Research has raised a genetically modified chickpea variety that shows high drought tolerance and high iron and zinc content in seeds by reducing the level of a plant growth substance called cytokinin in the root.

Related article:  Monsanto retains patent on GMO Bt cotton in India, nation's Supreme Court rules

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