Molecular Biotechnology

, Volume 60, Issue 8, pp 651–663 | Cite as

An Update on Genetic Modification of Chickpea for Increased Yield and Stress Tolerance

  • Manoj Kumar
  • Mohd Aslam Yusuf
  • Manisha Nigam
  • Manoj KumarEmail author


Chickpea is a highly nutritious grain legume crop, widely appreciated as a health food, especially in the Indian subcontinent. The major constraints on chickpea production are biotic (Helicoverpa, bruchid, aphid, ascochyta) and abiotic (drought, heat, salt, cold) stresses, which reduce the yield by up to 90%. Various strategies like conventional breeding, molecular breeding, and modern plant breeding have been used to overcome these problems. Conventionally, breeding programs aim at development of varieties that combine maximum number of traits through inter-specific hybridization, wide hybridization, and hybridization involving more than two parents. Breeding is difficult in this crop because of its self-pollinating nature and limited genetic variation. Recent advances in in vitro culture and gene technologies offer unique opportunities to realize the full potential of chickpea production. However, as of date, no transgenic chickpea variety has been approved for cultivation in the world. In this review, we provide an update on the development of genetically modified chickpea plants, including those resistant to Helicoverpa armigera, Callosobruchus maculatus, Aphis craccivora, as well as to drought and salt stress. The genes utilized for development of resistance against pod borer, bruchid, aphid, drought, and salt tolerance, namely, Bt, alpha amylase inhibitor, ASAL, P5CSF129A, and P5CS, respectively, are discussed.


Chickpea Transgenics Agrobacterium Abiotic stress Biotic stress 



Allium sativum leaf lectin


Bacillus thuringiensis


Cauliflower Mosaic Virus 35S promoter


Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation


Genetically modified


International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics


Indian Agricultural Research Institute


Indian Institute of Pulses Research


Marker-assisted selection


Mega base pairs


Million tons


Million hectares


Δ1-Pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase



The study was supported by the New Initiative (as a Cross Flow Technology project) “Root Biology and its Correlation to Sustainable Plant Development and Soil Fertility” from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and project titled “Characterization of gene(s) responsible for tyloses formation in chickpea during Fusarium oxysporum infection” from Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), New Delhi, India. The manuscript communication number assigned to this manuscript by the Dean, R&D, Integral University, Lucknow, is IU/R&D/2018-MCN000228.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manoj Kumar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mohd Aslam Yusuf
    • 3
  • Manisha Nigam
    • 4
  • Manoj Kumar
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiosciencesIntegral UniversityLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Division of Plant Microbe InteractionsCSIR-National Botanical Research InstituteLucknowIndia
  3. 3.Department of BioengineeringIntegral UniversityLucknowIndia
  4. 4.Department of BiochemistryHemvati Nandan Bahuguna, Garhwal University, SrinagarGarhwalIndia

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