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Indian scientists decode arhar dal genome

Nov 03, 2011 07:46 AM IST India India

New Delhi: In a big breakthrough in genomics, Indian scientists claim to have decoded the genome of the arhar dal, which is also known as pigeon pea. Scientists say this will help in developing new varieties. They also say it will enhance productivity and possibly bring down the soaring prices of pulses.

The exercise involved a group of 31 scientists from a network of premier research institutions including the Indian Council of Agriculture Research and Benaras Hindu University.

The scientists discovered 152 drought tolerant and over 1200 disease resistant genes that can make the pulse crop hardy.

Professor Nagendra Kumar Singh, who spearheaded the project, told CNN-IBN that this discovery will help bring down the inflated cost of pulses.

"We know that 85 per cent of the world's arhar dal is produced and consumed in India. So this discovery will help bring down the inflated cost of pulses owing to an average productivity of pulses remaining low in the country," Professor Singh said.

Singh added, "we can breed this variety at a much faster rate. we worked for the last five years. The impact will not be immediate but it will start a revolution kind of thing in the breeding of new varieties."

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