Progress of tissue culture and genetic transformation research in pigeon pea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.]

Gaurav Krishna, P Sairam Reddy, P W Ramteke, P S Bhattacharya
Plant Cell Reports 2010, 29 (10): 1079-95
Pigeon pea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] (Family: Fabaceae) is an important legume crop cultivated across 50 countries in Asia, Africa, and the Americas; and ranks fifth in area among pulses after soybean, common bean, peanut, and chickpea. It is consumed as a major source of protein (21%) to the human population in many developing countries. In India, it is the second important food legume contributing to 80% of the global production. Several biotic and abiotic stresses are posing a big threat to its production and productivity. Attempts to address these problems through conventional breeding methods have met with partial success. This paper reviews the chronological progress made in tissue culture through organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis, including the influence of factors such as genotypes, explant sources, and culture media including the supplementation of plant growth regulators. Comprehensive lists of morphogenetic pathways involved in in vitro regeneration through organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis using different explant tissues of diverse pigeon pea genotypes are presented. Similarly, the establishment of protocols for the production of transgenics via particle bombardment and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation using different explant tissues, Agrobacterium strains, Ti plasmids, and plant selectable markers, as well as their interactions on transformation efficiency have been discussed. Future research thrusts on the use of different promoters and stacking of genes for various biotic and abiotic stresses in pigeon pea are suggested.

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