Project Details

Mapping and validation of QTLs associated with drought tolerance traits in chickpea

Duration: 01/Jan/2009 - 30/Jun/2012

Locations: India / Asia

Project contact: Gaur, PM

Donor: Generation Challenge Program (GCP)/CIMMYT-Mexico

Globally, chickpea is the third most important food legume mainly grown and consumed in the developing countries. The average global productivity of chickpea continues to be low (~800 kg ha-1), whereas the potential yield is reported to be over 5 t ha-1. Over 90% of chickpea crop is rainfed, grown on residual soil moisture stored during the previous rainy season and the crop often experiences drought at the critical stage of pod filling and seed development. Thus drought is the most serious constraint to chickpea production and together with heat stresses account for over 40% yield losses annually. The grain yield under drought environments is the product of Transpiration (T), Transpiration Efficiency (TE) and Harvest Index (HI). The root system that can extract water from deeper soils can increase T and contribute to improving the total biomass productivity and also the HI. A measure of carbon isotope discrimination (δ13C) gives a good estimation of TE as these are positively correlated. This project builds on Tropical Legume I project, where efforts are being made to map QTLs for root traits. It aims to map and validate QTLs affecting all three components, T, TE and HI, of the grain yield under drought environments. The root traits will be used for T, carbon discrimination factor for TE and biological and grain yield for HI.

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