Known as chick pea, or gram, this is the most important pulse in India, particularly in the semi-arid areas, as it is very resistant to drought. This plant is self-pollinating and, because the pods contain only one or two seeds, cross-pollination by hand is a laborious business. Apart from this, it is a suitable crop for amateur breeders , especially in India where many local landraces offer scope for screening. There is need for improved horizontal resistance to a number of diseases, and to the gram caterpillar, Heliothis armígera. Storage pests are a serious problem and the possibility of developing horizontal resistance to them merits investigation.
This is a crop that has extinct wild progenitors.
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