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New challenges in breeding chickpea under changing climate

Chaturvedi, S.K., Singh, N.P., Gaur, P.M., Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 and Mishra, N. (2014) New challenges in breeding chickpea under changing climate. In: Dixit, G.P., Singh, J. and Singh, N.P., (eds.) Pulses: Challenges & Opportunities. Indian Society of Pulses Research and Development, pp. 102-113.



Climate change is a continuous natural process leading to evolution of diverse flora and fauna. The variability thus created during process of evolution followed by selection of most fit by nature itself forms primary base for crop improvement programs. However, the industrialization led climate change in the present era has been witnessed in form of abrupt rise or drop in temperature, erratic or uneven and untimely rainfall resulting in floods and drought situations. This is a cause of concern as such changes have direct impact on food production. Since most of the pulse crops including chickpea is sensitive to such climate changes, there is need to define likely effects of climate change on chickpea crop and strategies to mitigate its impact on chickpea production and productivity. Among various abiotic and biotic stresses likely to emerge are deficient or high soil moisture, frequent and untimely rains leading to unseasonal flood like situations during winter season, extreme temperatures during different crop growth stages such as frost during vegetative stage, low or high temperature at reproductive stage leading to flower/pod drop and abrupt rise in temperature during vegetative stage leading to initiation of early flowering followed by sudden drop in temperature leading to flower or pod drop; excessive crop growth due to frequent untimely winter rains, higher incidence of root diseases (collar rot and wet root rot) due to high temperature and high soil moisture at early stage of crop growth, increased incidence of foliar diseases (botrytis gray mould, Ascochyta blight, Alternaria blight, stem rot etc.) due to excessive vegetative growth, and more aggression of weak pathogens causing dry root rot and collar rot are likely to cause huge damage to chickpea crop. Similarly, rise in atmospheric humidity at the time of flowering and podding stage may lead to higher activities of insect pests like gram pod borer, cut worm etc. Among various strategies to combat these challenges, strategies like screening of germplasm accessions to identify donors possessing traits of economic importance, diseases and insect pest resistance, tolerance to temperature extremities (cold and heat stress), frost, high or low soil moisture stress etc. will be of paramount importance. Careful screening of genetic resources (core or mini-core sets) including wild relatives and primitive landraces will become imperative. The mapping and tagging of gene(s) or quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for imparting resistance/tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses and yield attributes will be desirable for targeted transfer of the required traits. Further, rapid generation advancement and integration of molecular markers in enhancing efficiency of selection methods will ensure desired improvement in chickpea.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Indian Society of Pulses Research and Development
Copyright: © 2014 ISPRD.
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