Written by Vanaja, M., Sankar, G.R.M., et al.
Blackgram is a popular bean grown primarily in southern Asia on the Indian subcontinent. It is a fairly nutritious pulse, recommended for diabetics and shown useful in helping to lower cholesterol. In addition, it contains high levels of protein, potassium, calcium, iron, niacin, thiamine and riboflavin.
Given the importance of this crop in the diets of many people in India, Pakistan, and the surrounding region, it comes as little surprise that researchers are interested in how blackgram might respond to future changes in atmospheric CO2and climate. Such was the case with the ten-member research team of Vanaja et al. (2015), who grew eighteen genotypes of blackgram from seeds in plastic pots inside open-top chambers at three CO2 levels (390, 550 and 700 ppm) across three distinct growing seasons (summer, rainy and winter seasons).
Their purpose in doing so was to evaluate which genotypes would perform the best in each growing-season climate regime under elevated CO2. Plant performance was thus evaluated based upon analyses of five morphological (root length, root volume, shoot length, number of branches and number of pods), six dry weight (root, stem, leaf, pod, fodder and total biomass) and eight yield (filled seed number, total seed count, filled seed weight, seed yield, test weight, husk weight, percentage of shelling and harvest index) plant growth traits.