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Enhancing drought tolerance in chickpea using genomics approaches

Thudi, M., Gaur, P.M., Krishnamurthy, L., Samineni, S. and Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 (2017) Enhancing drought tolerance in chickpea using genomics approaches. In: InterDrought-V, 21 - 25 February 2017, Hyderabad, India.


Terminal drought is one of the major constraints in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) leading to more than 50% production losses. To overcome these production losses due to drought, a range of translational genomics approaches are being used in chickpea breeding to develop improved chickpea varieties for enhancing food and nutritional security in developing countries in the context of climate change. For understanding the complex nature of drought tolerance, precise phenotypic data (20 drought component traits evaluated in one to seven seasons at one to five locations in India on two intra-specific mapping populations - ICC 4958 × ICC 1882 and ICC 283 × ICC 8261) together with extensive genotyping data was analyzed. As a result, nine QTL clusters containing QTLs for several drought tolerance traits have been identified, which can be targeted for molecular breeding. Among these clusters, one cluster harbouring 48% robust M-QTLs for 12 traits and explaining about 58.20% phenotypic variation present on CaLG04 has been referred as “QTL-hotspot”. This genomic region contains seven SSR markers (ICCM0249, NCPGR127, TAA170, NCPGR21, TR11, GA24 and STMS11). This QTL region has been introgressed in several leading varieties (e.g. JG 11, Chefe, KAK2) by using marker-assisted backcrossing (MABC) approach. Multi-location evaluation of these MABC lines provided several lines that have up to 24% higher yield than the recurrent parents. Introgression of this region into other elite cultivars will enhance production and productivity in chickpea.

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