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Translational genomics for developing climate resilient and high yielding chickpeas

Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 (2020) Translational genomics for developing climate resilient and high yielding chickpeas. In: Plant & Animal Genome Conference XXVIII, 11 - 15 January 2020, San Diego, CA.


Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an important pulse crop grown in more than 50 countries across the globe especially in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. During the last decade, genomic revolution empowered the chickpea community with large scale genomic resources for understanding the genetics of the trait and trait improvement using modern breeding approaches. Deploying the available genomic resources, we dissected important abiotic and biotic stresses that hinder chickpea production. The “QTL-hotspot” on CaLG04 explaining more than 58% phenotypic variation was introgressed into different elite backgrounds in India and Africa. Two high yielding and drought tolerant varieties, Geletu (in the background of ICCV 10) and BGM 10216 (in the background of Pusa 362) were released for commercial cultivation in Ethiopia and India respectively. In addition, MABC-WR-SA-1 a high yielding and Fusarium wilt resistant variety developed using marker assisted backcrossing approach was also release for comer cultivation in India. Following deciphering of the draft genome sequence of CDC Frontier variety, we re-sequenced >3000 chickpea germplasm accessions (that include global composite collection and 195 wild species accessions from primary, secondary and tertiary gene pools) at an average ~12X coverage. Large scale resequencing provided greater insights to genome-wide variations, the haplotype diversity, mutation burden, deleterious alleles, bottlenecks and selections sweeps during domestication. Extensive multi-location phenotyping data and the genome wide SNPs enabled us to identify genome-wide associations for agronomically important and > 40 nutritional quality traits. Furthermore, we are using these datasets for genomic prediction for developing climate resilient chickpea varieties.

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