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W004: Dissection of physiological and molecular mechanisms of drought tolerance in chickpea

Smith, M., Kholova, J., Roorkiwal, M., Barmukh, R., Thudi, M. and Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 (2019) W004: Dissection of physiological and molecular mechanisms of drought tolerance in chickpea. In: Plant & Animal Genome Conference XXVII, 12 - 16 January 2019, San Diego, CA


Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is an important grain legume grown in semi-arid tropical agroecoystems. Typically cultivated on the stored soil moisture from the preceding season, the main abiotic stress to impact chickpea production is terminal drought. In order to improve chickpea cultivars for water-limited environments, we have identified the mechanisms used by drought adapted chickpea during the season. The primary goal is to increase water use efficiency, improving yields with less water. Chickpea populations segregating for traits related to water use efficiency, including root traits and canopy vigour, have been characterised and markers associated with individual traits have been identified. Our findings highlight the importance of multiple traits involved in the adaptation of chickpea grown under terminal drought stress. Incorporation of these traits in to breeding programs will involve the use of high-throughput phenotyping methods and molecular advances to rapidly phenotype populations.

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